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Deadline Approaching for State's Insurance Exchange

@BeWellNM on Twitter



New Mexico is working to create its own online insurance exchange before the next open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act begins later this year. If the federal government doesn’t approve the state’s site, New Mexicans will be using the federal exchange for another year. 

New Mexico residents have had to use the federal exchange to sign up for the insurance plans required by the Affordable Care Act. The state has until July 31 to prove it will be ready to take over open enrollment from the federal government in November.

But Dr. JR Damron, Chairman of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange Board, said there are a lot of obstacles to work through in a small amount of time.

"The board’s concerned about whether the IT is really going to be ready to go, if there's been enough time for testing of it," Damron said, "and we may have a new permanent CEO coming on board. So there’s several factors going on, it’s a lot of moving parts."

Around 34,000 New Mexicans have already bought insurance policies on the federal exchange, and Damron says the state will have to re-enroll those residents on the state exchange if the feds give it the go-ahead.


Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.