Courtesy Health Action NM

This post is provided to educate the public about issues at the New Mexico legislature. It is paid for by Health Action New Mexico.

More than 100,000 uninsured New Mexicans are eligible for no-cost or low-cost health insurance but don’t sign up. A simple bill in the state legislature can change that — and it is close to passing.

State Representative Liz Thomson wanted to do something to help lower New Mexico’s high rate of uninsured. Like a lot of things, COVID had exposed health inequities for a lot of New Mexicans. The Albuquerque legislator teamed up with Health Action New Mexico to introduce the Health Insurance Easy Enrollment Plan as House Bill 272.

How does this work?

House Bill 272 would allow every New Mexican to check their eligibility for health insurance each year when they file their tax return. It adds a single simple checkbox (read more) to the tax form asking if you want to share your tax information with the state’s health exchange to find eligible health insurance. Taxpayers who are eligible for Medicaid would be offered the chance to sign up as well. Because health subsidies and eligibility are tied to income levels, an estimated 113,000 uninsured New Mexicans could find matching plans.

See what State. Rep. Liz Thomson, the bill’s sponsor, and Health Action had to say about how this simple plan will work.

Could this really happen?

Yes. It’s already halfway there. HB272 passed the New Mexico State House with bipartisan support, 48-18. Now it is waiting in the State Senate where it must be heard by committees before reaching a full vote and the governor’s desk.

How can I help?

With just a few days left until the legislature adjourns, Senators have to choose which bills to push forward. You can help by contacting your senator by email or phone and telling them that helping uninsured New Mexicans access health insurance they can afford is a priority for you and New Mexico.