In a state that strongly values our families, we have too many children and families who don’t have health care coverage. It is deeply heart-rending when kids suffer through illness and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Their parents face the challenge of getting timely care while also dealing with very expensive medical bills.
Our health care safety net in Bernalillo County has helped ease the burden of medical debt, collections and bankruptcy. County taxpayers send $90 million per year to University of New Mexico Hospital to support indigent care for tens of thousands of people each year.
Yet the reality is that the UNM Care program does not serve everybody in need.
Thousands of people are sent to collections each year. The wait times for getting financial assistance programs are long. Bills are complex and payment plans confusing to meet – even for professional navigators.