KUNM

HSD To Take Public Comment On Medicaid Overhaul

Jun 13, 2017

The New Mexico Human Services Department released its plan for the fate of Medicaid, and it includes massive cuts that could sever coverage for thousands.

Public comment begins Wednesday, June 14, in Albuquerque and will continue around the state throughout June.

HSD’s rough draft of the next version of Medicaid is awaiting public input from stakeholders. It would be rolled out in 2019, and monthly premium fees, reduced benefits and slashes to safeguards for low-income families are just some of the proposed changes, according to the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty.

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty calls the plan alarming. Abuko Estrada is an attorney there who focuses on health care.

“These are things that the state should really hear about from the patients themselves on how they’ll be impacted,” Estrada said.

Estrada said even if you’re not on Medicaid, half of the state is, and these changes will trigger a negative ripple effect across all of New Mexico’s system. The first public comment meeting will happen in Albuquerque at the CNM Workforce Center.

A spokesman for HSD said the Medicaid plan does protect health care benefits for people who need it. Spokesman Kyler Nerison's emailed statement: 

"The reforms implemented in Centennial Care have created a Medicaid system that identifies patients’ needs sooner and better connects them with health care services," he wrote. "Centennial Care 2.0 will build on this success of delivering the right care at the right time while protecting health care benefits for New Mexicans in need."

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Wednesday, June 14, Albuquerque, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

CNM Workforce Training Center (5600 Eagle Rock NE, 87113)

Monday, June 19, Silver City, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

WNMU GRC Auditorium (1000 W. College Ave., 88061)

• Wednesday, June 21, Farmington, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Bonnie Dallas Senior Center (109 E. La Plata St., 87401)

• Friday, June 23, Tribal Consultation Hearing, Albuquerque, 9 a.m. to noon

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (2401 12th Street NW, 87104)

• Monday, June 26, Roswell, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Roswell Public Library (301 N. Pennsylvania Ave., 88201)

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Editor's Note: We've updated this story to provide some clarification about who is raising concerns and to include the HSD spokesman's full, emailed statement.