KUNM

State Insurance Exchange Looks To Rural Areas

Feb 9, 2016

The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange reported this week that a record 54,586 people signed up for insurance using the exchange during the Affordable Care Act’s most recent open enrollment period.

Organizers at the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange are calling that a success, especially since a good chunk of the new enrollees had lost their insurance after Blue Cross Blue Shield pulled out of the state exchange last year.

But Linda Wedeen, who’s in charge of outreach for the exchange, said enrollment hasn’t been as strong in some parts of the state.

"Now we’re looking at those folks who are in the outlying areas, the more rural areas," she said. "People who we haven’t given the message, or they haven’t received the message, or they haven’t acted upon the message, and we’re trying to figure out why."

The health exchange is doing a study with the American Institutes of Research to identify uninsured populations in New Mexico and to find ways to reach out to them before the next open enrollment period.