A panel of New Mexico regulators has voted to continue coverage for more than 1,500 people who are part of a federal high-risk health insurance pool despite a likely shortfall in payments from the federal government.
The state board that oversees the pool voted unanimously Friday to continue coverage for the Preexisting Condition Insurance Program.
Claims are expected to out-pace federal payments by almost $6 million this year.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that by statute, the extra cost will be absorbed by health insurance companies. In turn, they'll get some tax relief.
The program was established as part of the Obama administration's health care overhaul effort, known as the Affordable Care Act. It's aimed at helping people with preexisting conditions get affordable coverage until more provisions of the act take effect in January.