New Mexico reconsiders subsidies to high-risk insurance pool

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The administration of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is seeking to shift the state’s financial obligations for a group of 2,700 people with serious and expensive medical conditions onto the private health insurance market.

Legislation drafted by the administration in response to a state budget crisis would reduce tax credits and other subsidies that help underwrite New Mexico’s high-risk medical insurance pool for the chronically ill.

The reforms would usher more people out of the pool and onto federally subsidized policies through the state health exchange. The Republican-sponsored bill is scheduled for discussion by lawmakers Friday in committee.

State government stands to save tens of millions of dollars, but a top insurance regulator says the changes are likely to drive up private-market insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars a year.

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