Bill to Help State Health Care Exchange Better Meet NM Needs Passes Committee

beWellnm Transitioning to Fully State-Based Exchange to Better Serve NM Patients

HB 100, a bill sponsored by Rep. Debbie Armstrong and Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena to help the New Mexico health insurance exchange better serve the needs of New Mexicans, passed the House Health and Human Services Committee 6-2 on Wednesday.

“With deductibles, co-pays and cost-sharing, health insurance remains too expensive and New Mexico families’ needs aren’t being met,” Armstrong said. “HB 100 will allow the exchange board in New Mexico to recommend standards for insurance plans that match the needs of New Mexico patients. That could mean allowing a certain number of primary care visits before a deductible kicks in or eliminating co-pays for behavioral health. The bottom line is, we need health insurance plans that actually help New Mexicans stay healthy.”

Additionally, HB 100, which has the support of the Department of Health and Human Services, codifies in New Mexico law the basic requirements for state health care exchanges set by the Affordable Care Act. As a result, New Mexico’s health care exchange, known as beWellNM, would continue to serve New Mexico effectively regardless of any political action taken on the ACA at the federal level.

“More than anything, New Mexicans need health care they count on,” Armstrong said. “We have the opportunity to ensure continuity of care by ensuring that it’s the state, not politicians in Washington, who control our exchange.”

HB 100 now goes to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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About Rep. Armstrong: Debbie, Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, is a long-time health care advocate serving her second term in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Having started her career as a physical therapist, she has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Debbie is the mother of three adult children. She lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  Follow her on Twitter @NMRepArmstrong and on Facebook, and sign up for email and text updates.

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Paid for by Debbie Armstrong for New Mexico, Jill Riester, Treasurer

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