COVID-19 has created a crisis that has caused many New Mexicans to fear for their health and economic security. That is why, working with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) is doing everything in our power to provide relief and protection to New Mexico’s families, workers, and businesses.
Free COVID-19 testing and treatment
Because of our actions, New Mexicans with private insurance regulated by OSI cannot be charged for testing or treatment of COVID-19 by the provider or their insurance company. We have also urged self-insured plan administrators to avoid testing or treatment charges. Please use refer to our consumer resource on testing and treatment if you have any questions.
Suspend plan cancellations for those unable to pay
We have also taken steps to keep New Mexicans from losing their health insurance because they can’t afford the premium. We’ve asked all insurance companies to suspend cancellations and non-renewals during this emergency, or at a minimum, provide extended grace periods for premium payments.
Promoting quality health coverage
OSI has partnered with the Human Services Department, beWellnm, and the NM Medical Insurance Pool to promote the availability of health coverage. Together, we have created resources in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.
If you or a loved one don’t have health insurance, you should sign up today. It is important that New Mexicans have health insurance during the pandemic. It may be more affordable than you think. You can use OSI's Health Coverage Connector to see what coverage you qualify for.
- No-cost Medicaid coverage is available for low-income New Mexicans at yes.state.nm.us or 1-(855) 637-6574.
- If your income is too high for Medicaid, most people can get discounted private health insurance through the state’s health insurance marketplace, beWellnm. You can sign up at bewellnm.com or 1-(833) 862-3935 within 60 days of losing your health insurance. Call beWellnm if you have experienced a significant loss of income to see if you qualify for coverage discounts. Native Americans can enroll anytime.
- If you don’t qualify for either of those programs, you can sign up for coverage through the NM Medicaid Insurance Pool at nmmip.org or 1 (844) 728-7896.
Our goal is to be sure as many New Mexicans as possible are tested for COVID-19 and if they test positive, they have access to treatment without cost barriers.
Surprise billing protections
New Mexico's health care system is under significant strain from the pandemic, so our order also requires insurance plans to cover out-of-network services and facilities. In the past, receiving out-of-network services could mean getting a surprise medical bill. However, we have exercised our authority under the Surprise Billing Protection Act to make sure patients are protected from surprise bills during COVID-19. We recently released a consumer resource to help patients understand their rights and know what to do if they get a surprise medical bill during COVID-19.
Telemedicine and telehealth
We also want you to be able to access health care without leaving home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, so insurers are required to reimburse health care providers for telemedicine and telehealth services – including behavioral and mental health services – just as they would pay for regular office visits. We have partnered with the Human Services Department to promote the use of telemedicine and telehealth services.
COVID-19 Health Insurance Call Center
To help New Mexicans navigate health insurance issues during this crisis, on May 1 OSI launched a COVID-19 Health Insurance Call Center. Please call us at 1-833-415-0566 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday for help with insurance issues and reliable information about signing up for coverage.
Auto insurance rebates
OSI is requiring auto insurance companies to reduce premiums since New Mexicans are not on driving nearly as much due to the need to stay inside during the public health emergency.
Relief for businesses
Insurers that cover businesses impacted by the pandemic must make adjustments and reduce premiums appropriately given the new business realities.
OSI has issued alerts to consumers about an uptick in scams in recent months and credit protections during COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, excepted benefits plans were required to alert their customers that their plan is not major medical coverage and to inform them of comprehensive health coverage options available in New Mexico.
New Mexico is resilient, and OSI is doing its part to make sure we get through this crisis together. Call us toll free at 1-833-415-0566 if you need assistance on a COVID-19 or any health insurance matter.