This week, the New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) announced that health insurance premiums will decrease significantly for individuals and families purchasing their own coverage through New Mexico’s Health Insurance Marketplace, known as beWellnm. This year the OSI pushed all the plans for higher value, and we were not hesitant in challenging cost assumptions. Nearly all the plans responded in a positive way.
Average plan prices dropped in the Bronze, Silver and Gold plan categories across the state. Silver plans, the most common plan purchased on the individual exchange, will decrease between 8.1% and 13.5% on average. Small businesses will experience a 6.7% average premium decrease on beWellnm.
I hope these lower premiums will be a relief for New Mexico’s families in 2021. As Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has noted: It’s more important than ever that everyone has access to quality, affordable health coverage.
Not only are rates decreasing, but New Mexico also will have more health plans competing in the marketplace than ever before. Five health insurance companies are competing in the individual market this year. Despite the departure of New Mexico Health Connections, the number of insurers competing in New Mexico’s individual marketplace increased from four to five, as new insurers entered the market.
Because COVID-19 has created a global health and economic crisis, making health insurance affordable was an important protection for those who have been negatively impacted by the virus. Our determination to secure lower rates was one of many actions we have taken this year to protect New Mexicans.
OSI released a Frequently Asked Questions resource for Health Connections customers in August and urged all enrollees to actively shop around this year to make sure they find a plan that meets their health and budget needs. The resource can be found at osi.state.nm.us. Health Connections customers who do not sign up for a plan will be assigned to a comparable plan on the marketplace so that they do not become uninsured.
We have also posted on our website all the premium rates by plan within each rating area.
New Mexico’s 45-day Open Enrollment Period for coverage that starts on Jan. 1 begins Nov. 1 and ends on Dec. 15. Most people who purchase coverage on beWellnm.com qualify for financial help to reduce their premiums. Lower income individuals can reduce their out-of-pocket costs by selecting Silver plans that qualify for Cost Sharing Reductions. You can reach beWellnm at 1-833-862-3935 for over-the-phone help or visit www.bewellnm.com for more information. For help with Medicaid, call 1-855-637-6574 or visit www.yes.state.nm.us.
Don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for health coverage this year.