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NM exchange has faster enrollment

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exchangeHealth care coverage is now available more quickly to employees of small businesses that buy insurance on the state exchange.

The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange has launched a 33-day enrollment cycle. When the exchange opened last Oct. 1 it could take three months for employees to obtain coverage after they signed up.

The new schedule provides for open enrollment that ends on the third of every month prior to the month coverage is to begin.

For example, if coverage is to begin April 1, employees enroll beginning Feb. 11 and ending March 3. Payment for coverage is due March 15.

The exchange until now has allowed employees to enroll at any time, but there was a three-month lag between enrollment and the beginning of coverage.

The state exchange allows small businesses to purchase health insurance for their employees using the state’s on-line shopping site. Individuals seeking coverage use the federal exchange.

Employers can choose the type of coverage employees can purchase and identify which employees are authorized to obtain insurance. Then employees choose among competing insurance plans that offer the allowable coverage. Employers are required to pay at least half of the employees’ premiums.

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