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New Mexico to start purging Medicaid rolls Saturday


New Mexico to start purging Medicaid rolls Saturday

Mar 31, 2023 | 6:45 am ET
By Austin Fisher
New Mexico to start purging Medicaid rolls Saturday
New Mexico will begin disenrolling people on the state's Medicaid program on Saturday. An emergency pandemic provision had prohibited states from disenrolling people since 2020. (Photo by Getty Images)

New Mexico will begin disenrolling people from the state’s safety-net health insurance program for the very poor this weekend.

About 110,000 New Mexicans will no longer be eligible for Medicaid, acting New Mexico Human Services Secretary Kari Armijo said during a news conference on Thursday afternoon.

With the public health emergencies expiring, New Mexico officials on Saturday will begin reevaluating all 978,207 New Mexicans who are covered by the state’s Medicaid program.

Not all of those cases will be reviewed at once, Armijo said. They will start with about 27,000 people in April, she said.

When someone is due to renew, HSD will send them an application inside a turquoise-colored envelope in the mail. The state will start approving or denying renewals for the 110,000 people who are now ineligible between April and July, Armijo said. The agency must get through the whole list by April 2024, she said.

A requirement for continuous health care coverage during the public health emergency helped stop the periodic Medicaid “churn,” where people get kicked off the rolls but quickly reapply because they still need care. The result is delayed medical care, fewer preventive visits, and periods of uninsurance.

“It is very important to fill out your renewal application and submit it to the Human Services Department to keep your Medicaid coverage if you are still eligible,” Armijo said.

It remains unclear how many people will have to shift over to a subsidized Affordable Care Act plan, and how many will just become uninsured, because Armijo and other state officials did not answer questions about that on Thursday.

Only 3% of people nationwide who were disenrolled from Medicaid or CHIP in 2018 enrolled in exchange coverage within a year, according to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, a nonpartisan congressional policy and data analysis agency.

How to re-apply for Medicaid coverage

  • Renew online: yes.state.nm.us
  • Renew by mail: CASA, P.O. Box 830, Bernalillo, NM 87004
  • Renew in-person at a local HSD field office
  • Ask questions over the phone at 1-800-283-4465, 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. MT, Monday through Friday