By Associated Press - Friday, February 8, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Medical insurance companies are pushing back against a bill that would open up New Mexico’s Medicaid program to paying customers.

America’s Health Insurance Plans lobbyist Brent Moore told a legislative panel Friday that medical insurance companies are concerned that a Medicaid buy-in system could erode the market for individual health insurance for those without access to subsidies or an employer-sponsored plan. He also said private insurance providers worry that low Medicaid reimbursement rates could drive away medical providers.

Democratic Representative and bill sponsor Deborah Armstrong of Albuquerque says the initial goal is to help uninsured patients. She acknowledged the potential for a Medicaid buy-in plan to shift costs onto the individual market as it expands.

A committee vote on the bill was delayed until Monday because of minor amendments.

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