Thanks to all who made Health Action New Mexico’s 20th Anniversary such a special occasion. It was such a joy to see the advocacy community together in one place to celebrate the spirit of the work we all do. We would like to thank AARP of New Mexico, Delta Consulting, New Mexico Health Connections, and Presbyterian Health Plan for sponsoring the event.
20th Anniversary Video Produced by Blackout Theatre Company
Photographs by JAK Media
Congratulations from US Senator Tom Udall
Video Message from Retired US Senator Jeff Bingaman
The Next Step in Health Reform
The expansion of health coverage has been nothing short of remarkable. Nearly 300,000 people have gained access to health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act. As we help newly insured consumers navigate the health care system and use their coverage we must also turn our sights towards the quality of health care in New Mexico.
The New Mexico Department of Health and New Mexico Human Services Department have undertaken the enormous task of developing a strategy to achieve better health outcomes by innovating our health care delivery system. Health Action New Mexico is garnering consumer input on the current draft of the state’s plan, which includes reforming how we pay doctors to incentivize keeping patients healthy, addressing the social determinants of health, and integrating behavioral and oral health in to primary care, among many other initiatives. Health Action New Mexico looks forward to contributing to this monumental step towards a more patient and consumer oriented health care system.
Consumer Alerts: Open Enrollment Begins November 1st
The next window of time to purchase health coverage is just around the corner! On November 1st, 2015 beWellNM.com will be open for shopping. The open enrollment period ends on January 31st, 2016. Advocates should take a look at Health Action New Mexico’s Private Market Enrollment Report to see the state of enrollment in our state.
Here are 5 things for consumers to keep in mind:
1) If you currently have a marketplace plan, it will remain active until the end of the year.
2) If you want your new coverage to kick in by January 1st, 2016 you need to sign up by December 15th, 2015.
3) The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (bewellnm.com or healthcare.gov) is the only marketplace where you can access premium tax credits and cost sharing reductions.
4) Even if you like your current plan, you should shop around to see if there is a more affordable plan or a plan that better meets your needs.
5) The shared responsibility penalty for lacking coverage in 2016 raises to the higher of $695 per person or 2.5% of income but the best reason to get covered is to keep you and your family healthy.
Blue Cross Blue Shield dropped out of the exchange for 2016 and New Mexico Health Connections dropped several plans. If your 2015 plan is no longer available, the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) is mobilizing a statewide roadshow to help consumers find plans that work for them. Click here to see when they will be in a town near you.
Dental Therapist Task Force
On October 2nd, Health Action New Mexico staff participated in the third in a series of four meetings in which the New Mexico Dental Hygienist Association panel, that includes Health Action New Mexico, and legislators, will again meet the New Mexico Dental Association panel with hopes of coming together to draft meaningful, effective dental therapist legislation for New Mexico. It is not clear whether consensus will be achieved. Dental therapist supporters including dentists, hygienists, educators and community leaders have observed the task force meetings and are invited to attend the fourth meeting. The date for the next task force meeting is yet to be determined and will be later this month or in early November.
From the Field
Victor Montoya and Joe Martinez are working in the Colonias and border areas to help people in those communities engage their neighbors in getting covered and finding ways to access care. “Without accessible health care coverage and services only prisons and poverty will flourish in the Colonias of New Mexico,” Last month, the outreach team also worked with our board president Erik Lujan to train advocates, nurses, and state employees in northern New Mexico on how to enroll individuals in Medicaid and the exchange.
Nohemy Bojorquez-Flores is gearing up for the open enrollment period and gathering stories from her community. “Open enrollment is just around the corner,” says Nohemy. “I am reaching out to the community and keeping them informed!”
On October 15th and 16th from 9 AM to 5 PM, Health Action New Mexico hosted a free outreach workshop on health coverage with Enroll America at the Friends Meeting House. An incredible group of advocates came together to craft our strategy for the upcoming open enrollment period.