SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s leaders are looking to tackle a rising problem: sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A new law signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham could help more residents access STI care.

During the most recent legislative session, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 132. Sponsored by Democratic legislators, the bill requires some insurance plans to cover the cost of preventative care for STIs.

New Mexico is no stranger to the health concerns posed by sexual infections. In particular, addressing congenital syphilis has been a focus of the state’s Health Department.

Now, under the new law starting in 2024, group health insurers will no longer be able to charge co-pay fees for STI preventative care or STI treatment. But, high-deductible plans with health savings accounts may still charge under certain conditions.

The new law should help more New Mexicans receive care, according to an analysis by the Legislative Finance Committee. The state’s Department of Health also notes that young New Mexicans, in particular, may be more likely to seek STI care when there’s no co-pay costs.