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Open Enrollment Off To A Good Start In New Mexico

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The organization managing health insurance signups in New Mexico is reporting positive numbers one week into the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period. 

"We are seeing some response," said Linda Wedeen of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. "Our goal this year that's going to be different from last year is we're working very hard to let people know we're there to assist them through this process. We know it can be complicated."

Health insurance providers have sent notices to around 30,000 New Mexico residents that their current policies will be canceled in January because the plans don't meet the minimum coverage requirements laid out in the Affordable Care Act.

Wedeen said the Health Exchange is encouraging people to take a look at the marketplace even if they already have insurance, because a better deal might be available. Residents with soon-to-be-canceled health plans have until December 15 to choose a new, ACA-approved coverage plan.

Wedeen said the problems that plagued the previous open enrollment period - problematic enrollment, consumer confusion - don't seem to be repeating themselves this time. 

"So far so good. The website went up when it was expected to, people are online comparing plans. On the whole, prices are less than they were last year, so that's a good thing for the consumer."

Anyone wanting to learn more about coverage requirements and health plan options can visit the Health Insurance Exchange enrollment website, or call the center to talk to a specialist. 

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.
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