- Associated Press - Friday, October 13, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on New Mexico’s reaction to Trump’s health policy actions (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

New Mexico has joined a long list of states that are challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to end provisions of the Affordable Care Act that lower out-of-pocket medical costs.

Attorney General Hector Balderas confirmed Friday that New Mexico would participate in the lawsuit.

In anticipation of the move by Trump to discontinue the subsides to insurers, New Mexico insurance regulators already have approved record-setting health premium increases of 36 percent for next year on the state’s subsidized exchange. Further increases are not expected next year.

State insurance superintendent spokeswoman Heather Widler emphasized that direct marketplace subsidies to low-income consumers will continue.


3:00 a.m.

New Mexico insurance regulars are warning that consumers may need to be more vigilant as they buy health coverage in the future, under President Donald Trump’s executive order for cheaper and less-regulated health plans for individuals.

A spokeswoman for state Insurance Superintendent John Franchini on Thursday said the president’s order could lead to benefit caps and exclusions for medical conditions as it creates new low-cost insurance options.

Trump’s order aims to broaden the use of “association health plans” to encourage competition across state lines. It also seeks to loosen restrictions on short-term policies of under a year that already are exempt from certain consumer protections.

Widler echoed concerns of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners about expanding low-premium plans that reduce consumer protections and solvency requirements.

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