NMHIX Announces Implementation Activities
The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX) announced today that implementation activities are underway to ensure that New Mexicans can enroll for health insurance through the NMHIX starting October 1, 2013. J.R. Damron, M.D., Chair of the NMHIX Board stated, “We are launching this comprehensive system to make sure that all New Mexicans understand the new health coverage options and give them the information as well as local help to get signed up.” New Mexico estimates that almost 84,000 New Mexicans will take advantage of the new NMHIX health plans in the first year and many people will be able to receive premium assistance to afford the coverage.
A comprehensive enrollment, outreach, and education plan was approved and activated to establish approximately 200 enrollment sites throughout the state staffed with hundreds of Health Care Guides to help people understand their health coverage options and get enrolled. In addition to the enrollment system that will utilize the broad network of the New Mexico Primary Care Association at clinics, hospitals and nonprofit organizations throughout the state, an additional enrollment contract was approved for Native American Professional Parent Resources to help ensure outreach, education on coverage options throughout Native American communities. The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center will also have Health Care Guides to help people get signed up for coverage at multiple locations.
In addition to the enrollment system which will help people take advantage of federal premium assistance for affordable coverage, the NMHIX also approved an outreach and education plan to partner with various organizations to hold local events, disseminate information and materials on the new insurance and coverage options, and host educational seminars throughout the state. Partners include organizations that can help outreach to small businesses, such as the Association of Commerce and Industry and local chambers throughout the state, the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, and the Las Cruces Hispano Chamber of Commerce; and partners that can reach the general public, such as through the higher education system and the Association of Counties. The NMHIX also plans to engage schools, public health offices, the faith community, and numerous other grassroots organizations to ensure outreach to every geographic area of the state and to hard-to-reach populations. Martin Hickey, M.D., Chair of the NMHIX Marketing and Outreach Committee noted, “This is a tremendous campaign to help people understand the new coverage options and make it easy for them to enroll and get affordable health insurance.”
The Board also heard a presentation from BVK, the marketing firm that was recently awarded a contract to develop media, marketing, and educational materials for the NMHIX. Board member Terriane Everhart stated, “BVK brings wonderful creative ideas to the very complex issue of getting health insurance and their ‘Be Well’ campaign is very exciting. We believe it will appeal to the many New Mexicans who have never had health insurance and will want this affordable new health care that will give them peace of mind and better health.”
The NMHIX and its outreach partners will start holding events and disseminating information and materials throughout the state in early September and will implement a major media campaign. Individuals and small employers can start enrolling in coverage October 1, 2013 and the insurance becomes effective January 1, 2014. More information on the NMHIX and its plans can be found at www.nmhix.com
Contact: Mike Nuñez, (505) 989-1600, www.nmhix.com
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