By Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2020

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Thousands of New Mexicans who are enrolled in the Medicaid program could end up losing their eligibility because of the recent increase in the state’s minimum wage.

Starting Jan. 1, base pay rose to $9 an hour, marking the first in a series of increases in New Mexico’s minimum wage that will top out at $12 an hour in 2023.

According to the state Human Services Department, the first bump up in the statewide minimum wage in more than a decade could affect the eligibility of an estimated 6,000 people. It wasn’t immediately clear how many could be affected when it increases again in subsequent years.

New Mexico’s Medicaid caseload stood at more than 827,000 individuals in November. That was essentially flat from October and down a half-percent from November 2018.

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