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Deadline Looms For Free Or Low-Cost 2021 Health Coverage

George Hodan
Public Domain

A chance for New Mexicans to get health insurance for the remainder of the year ends this weekend. Some people can qualify for free or low-cost plans during the pandemic.

The deadline to enroll in a plan through the state’s insurance exchange, beWellnm, is this Sunday, Aug. 15. 

Spokesperson for the exchange, Katrina Smith, says New Mexicans who are uninsured or who were unemployed for at least one week of this year qualify for this special open enrollment period. 

“It’s made available because of the pandemic,” she said. “We want to make sure that everybody gets the chance to obtain health insurance during this time.” 

Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan has also been allocated to lower the monthly costs of the plans. BeWellnm says about 30% of uninsured New Mexicans would be eligible for the assistance. Some may have their entire premium covered. 

The coverage runs from Sept. 1 through the end of the year. 

A regular enrollment period for 2022 plans will open up in November and financial assistance will still be available for those. 

Smith says a resident who receives pandemic relief will be able to switch plans before getting stuck with a bigger bill when it’s slated to dry up at the end of next year. 

For more information, or to enroll before Sunday’s deadline, visit bewellnm.com or call 1-833-862-3935.

Nash Jones (they/them) is a general assignment reporter in the KUNM newsroom and the local host of NPR's All Things Considered (weekdays on KUNM, 5-7 p.m. MT). You can reach them at nashjones@kunm.org or on Twitter @nashjonesradio.