- Associated Press - Monday, November 14, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Health care companies in New Mexico are bracing for the likelihood that some parts of President Barack Obama’s signature health care overhaul could be undone by President-elect Donald Trump.

New Mexico-based insurance and hospital system executives believe it’s too early to tell how things would proceed, but most agreed they would have to adjust their business operations after Trump begins working with a Republican Congress eager to end or at least significantly change the law, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2g7hmMF).

The reaction was immediate for one group of policy-holders as phone lines burned up last week at the offices of the state health care exchange set up after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. New Mexicans moved quickly to lock in another year of coverage.

Insurance and hospital system executives said state exchange customers and Medicaid policies will be honored in 2017.

Trump has said he may keep some parts of Obama’s health care law, such as the prohibition against denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition and the clause that allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26.

New Mexicans shopping for new insurance through the state’s exchange, beWellnm, have until Jan. 31 to enroll.

Linda Wedeen, interim chief executive officer of beWellnm, said the exchange will continue to execute a robust outreach strategy to uninsured New Mexicans to let them know coverage is still available and that they should enroll by Dec. 15 for coverage that starts Jan. 1.

New Mexico Insurance Superintendent John Franchini said he believes Congress - which already voted six times to repeal and another 48 times to eliminate large sections of the health care overhaul - will “adjust, simplify and maybe economize the delivery system for healthcare” without totally dismantling it.

He cited the popularity of the program among people with pre-existing conditions and the provision allowing people to remain on a parent’s health plan until they are 26.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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