Legislature Convenes Tomorrow

2019 Health Security Act

The legislative session begins at noon tomorrow, and the Health Security Act should be introduced soon. We’ll let you know as soon as we have a bill number.

Other Bills of Interest

The Health Security Act requires a fiscal analysis prior to implementation, and it will take at least three years, assuming the fiscal analysis is positive, to set up the Health Security Plan. What this means is that there is definitely a role for interim measures to protect state residents, expand access to health care, and attempt to control costs.

In addition to the Medicaid buy-in proposal, there will be other important pieces of legislation that deal with select health care issues right now. We are expecting bills to be introduced that:

  • Put in place protections for New Mexicans with preexisting conditions.

  • Prohibit “junk plans”—insurance plans that lack the ten essential benefits required under the Affordable Care Act. (For more on this, see point #2 in our summer blog post.)

  • Address “surprise billing,” which happens when someone who has private insurance goes to a hospital or clinic that is within their plan’s network, but is treated (at much higher cost) by a provider who is out of network.

  • Require state agencies to engage in joint efforts to purchase pharmaceutical drugs and initiate other cost containment approaches.

These interim measures will help New Mexico residents get the care they need while the Health Security Plan is being set up.

Getting a Bill Passed

We’ve put together this handy guide to how the legislature works—both officially and behind the scenes. If this is the first time you’ve been following a bill through the New Mexico legislature, it’s a great introduction to the process. And if it isn’t your first rodeo, please share with someone who doesn’t know as much!