Public Health New Mexico
3:42 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Most NM Enrollees Eligible For Health Insurance Discounts

New Mexicans sign up for Obamacare at an event in Taos
Credit Deborah Martinez

Almost 75 percent of the nearly 8,000 New Mexicans who have enrolled in insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act are eligible for discounts, according to numbers released by the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange Wednesday.  Officials are attributing the spike in the number of enrollees to the state’s multi-pronged advertising campaign.

You might have seen ads encouraging Americans to sign up for Obamacare leading up to the October 1 launch of enrollment, but when the healthcare.gov website went sour and consumers couldn’t sign up, national and local ads were put on hold.

Now, ad campaigns are in full swing in several languages and in social media, and as a result, the numbers are up, said Debra Hammer of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange.  In New Mexico, more than 33,000 people have completed applications, and Hammer said the state’s BeWellNM.com site lets people see how much their discount could be.

“We have a subsidy calculator as well as a plan comparison tool, so they can do all of that early education without having to go to healthcare.gov and they don’t actually have to sign up on that site,” Hammer said.  She added that applicants can then use those calculations when they do sign up.

Hammer said a new multi-media campaign kicks off in a couple of weeks aimed at the so-called "young invincibles,” those between 18 to 34 years old who are generally healthier. Their participation in the insurance marketplace under Obamacare is critical to its success, according to the US Human Services Department.