KUNM

Mixed Changes For 2019 Health Insurance On New Mexico Exchange

Dec 3, 2018

Open enrollment on the New Mexico health insurance exchange ends Dec. 15, and changes to the Affordable Care Act at the federal level have brought mixed results to New Mexico consumers for 2019.

People who bought insurance from the New Mexico exchange for 2018 saw a spike in prices for the mid-range silver plans because of a cut in health care subsidies under the Trump Administration. Now, prices for those silver plans for 2019 have levelled off or dropped slightly.

It’s a different story for the bronze and gold plans. Colin Baillio, Director of Policy and Communications at Health Action New Mexico, said people who qualify for tax credits will see bronze and gold premiums go up slightly. "What’s likely to happen is that a lot of people who were getting gold this year may switch back to silver or maybe even bronze," said Baillio.

Baillio also warns that federal policy changes have allowed a rise in what’s known as “junk insurance” – cheap plans sold by companies that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. He only recommends buying plans that are available at Healthcare.gov.

Next year marks the end of the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, so for the first time since 2014, New Mexicans won’t be fined for not enrolling in health insurance coverage.

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Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the Con Alma Health Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.