NM Easy Enrollment Program
For many of the uninsured, affordability is not the only issue preventing access to health insurance. Of the 187,000 New Mexicans who were uninsured last year, over 50% were eligible for Medicaid or subsidized exchange coverage. That means there may be as many as 100,000 people in our state who are not aware of their eligibility for free or low-cost coverage, or have time constraints, language barriers, or other limitations keeping them from getting enrolled. Now more than ever, it is vital that all New Mexicans are provided ample opportunity for enrolling in health coverage.
The Easy Enrollment Program leverages the income tax system to reach this population. This infrastructure reaches high rates of low-income New Mexicans who are eligible for free or subsidized coverage and collects nearly all the information necessary to verify income and citizenship. By simply checking a box, a tax filer will receive an eligibility assessment for health coverage and an easy method to enroll.
Maryland piloted the first Easy Enrollment Program in 2020 using a phased-in approach. Even from a limited first phase, the program boasts remarkable rates of participation, and also impressively enrolled a large number of young people, which improves the risk pool and brings down costs for everyone.
3 Easy Steps to Getting Enrolled:
Step 1: Check the Box
This allows relevant information from the tax form to be shared with Medicaid and the Health Insurance Exchange. There will be an optional second box consenting to auto-enrollment into free coverage if it is available.
Step 2: Eligibility Assessment
Relevant information will be used to assess income and citizenship for eligibility, first by Medicaid, then the Exchange. If necessary, these entities may request additional information from the tax filer to assess eligibility.
Step 3: Get Enrolled
Medicaid or the Exchange will reach out to the tax filer outlining the coverage options they qualify for and open a short special enrollment period to sign up. If they checked the auto-enrollment box, they will have an opt-out period.
Next Steps and Get Involved:
Easy Enrollment ran as HB272 in the 2021 session, passed through the House and made it to the Senate floor before simply running out of time at the end of the session. Leading into the 2022 session, we've secured interim committee endorsements and are actively seeking community organization endorsements to ensure we get on the Governor's call.
with any questions or to get involved.