The state expects about half of the 400,000 uninsured New Mexicans to purchase insurance through the state health insurance exchange when it’s fully implemented in 2014. A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds New Mexicans will pay some of the lowest rates in the nation.
Consumers will sign up for the plan that best suits their needs and budget. For example, a bronze plan for a 40-year-old in Albuquerque will be just over $150, compared to over $300 in New York.
For individuals and families living at 400 percent of the federal poverty level or below, premiums will end up costing less because the federal government offers subsidies. So that 40 year old from Albuquerque who was looking at a $155 premium would get a $19-a-month break.
David Roddy with the New Mexico Primary Care Association said people will be able to make an appointment with a healthcare guide who will offer tailored information on costs.
“It takes 10 minutes just to explain the basic concepts," Roddy explained. "It really helps when you have the person in front of you so that you can make the calculation of their income, and then tell them what they are going to have to pay per month." Roddy said the guides will then explain the benefits and the advantages of having insurance.
Roddy said the Health Exchange will set up dozens of informational spots throughout the state, with 300 trainers certified to provide details on insurance plans, rates and qualifying credits beginning in October.
Editor's Note: Another report looked at the impact the Affordable Care Act will have on health insurance premiums. KUNM covered that analysis here.