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‘Obamacare’ sign-ups down in NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services show that fewer New Mexicans have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace compared with the same time last year.

The open enrollment period began Nov. 1. As of Nov. 24, 12,724 individuals had signed up for coverage through beWellnm, New Mexico’s health insurance exchange. That is about 17.5 percent down from the 15,440 enrollments last year around the same time.

The federal data doesn’t include re-enrollments and pending applications, according to beWellnm.

CMS reports show that, in total, about 50,000 New Mexicans enrolled in the marketplace in late 2017.

Maureen Manring, director of communications and outreach for beWellnm, said New Mexico’s numbers reflect a nationwide trend of fewer enrollments, though currently beWellnm doesn’t have the data to understand what is driving the trend within the state.

“We hear a lot of assumptions: that more people are getting coverage through their employers, that there’s a decline now that there’s no tax penalty for being uninsured,” said Manring. “But we just don’t have enough information at this moment to say one way or another.”

Manring said the organization believes a transition to its own online platform instead of one operated by the federal government will allow more efficient and comprehensive access to enrollment information. BeWellnm’s board voted in September to transition to the new platform and plans to do so by late 2020.

Manring also said beWellnm expects a rush of enrollments toward the end of the signup period, as has happened in the past. The last day to enroll is Dec. 15. Many plan premiums are lower than they were last year, according to Manring.

BeWellnn is offering the following Albuquerque-area enrollment events where consumers can ask questions and meet with a certified broker:

— Saturday, November 29 – Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership Enrollment Event located at 310 Indian School Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 5-7pm

— Tuesday, December 4 – Health NM located at 2529 San Mateo Blvd NE Suite #4, Albuquerque, NM 87110, 3-6pm

— Tuesday, December 4 – Family Insurance Associates, Inc. located at 456 Mechem Suite A, Ruidoso, NM 88345, 3-6pm

— Tuesday, December 4 – Health Insurance New Mexico LLC, located at 1033 Paseo del Pueblo Sur Suite F2, Taos, NM 87571, 3-6pm

— Wednesday, December 5 – Greg Koch GLK Insurance located at 1700A Southern Blvd SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124, 3-6pm

— Wednesday, December 5 – Integrity Insurance located at 9577 Osuna Rd NE Suite E, Albuquerque, NM 87111, 3-6pm

— Wednesday, December 5 – Health NM located at 2529 San Mateo Blvd NE Suite #4, Albuquerque, NM 87110, 3-6pm

— Thursday, December 6 – Jerry Smith and Associates Inc located at 4200 Meadowlark Lane Suite I-E, Rio Rancho, NM 87124, 3-6pm

— Thursday, December 6 – Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership Enrollment Event located at 1319 4th St. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 5-7pm

— Saturday, December 8 – CNM Workforce Training Center Enrollment Event located at 5600 Eagle Rock Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, 10am – 2pm

— Tuesday, December 11 – San Juan Center for Independence, 1204 San Juan Blvd, Farmington, NM 87401, 10am-2pm

— Wednesday, December 12 – Mack Diltz CLU, 919 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505, 3-6pm

– Wednesday, December 12 – HUB International Insurance Services, 518 8th Street, Las Vegas, NM 87701, 3-6pm

— Thursday, December 13 – Catholic Charities Enrollment Event located at 2010 Bridge Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, 3-7pm

For information about other events and the enrollment process, go to beWellnm.com or call 1-833-ToBeWell.

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