ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwired - April 25, 2014) - At its April meeting, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX) Board reported a total of 34,966 New Mexicans had enrolled in qualified health plans as of April 15, 2014 according to the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance. This number represents a 32 percent increase from the 26,412 enrollments confirmed at the end of March 2014.
While March 31, 2014 was the official end of the first open enrollment period for individuals under the Affordable Care Act, the NMHIX was informed that two additional weeks would be allowed to enroll anyone "in line" with a final deadline of 10 p.m. MDT on April 15, 2014.
"This incredible increase in just two weeks is due to concentrated outreach efforts, incredible team work and long hours put in by our staff, hundreds of certified insurance agents/brokers and health care guides throughout the state, our bilingual call center, and our many outreach partners including the New Mexico Primary Care Association, Native American Professional Parent Resources, Inc., the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce and dozens of other groups," said Dr. J. R Damron, chair of the NMHIX Board.
The continued growth in enrollments reflects intense outreach and contact during the two weeks following March 31, 2014 that focused on individuals who were "in line" to get enrolled. Efforts included:
- Launch of an electronic post card on the NMHIX website, www.BeWellNM.com, for individuals who wanted to enroll that garnered a total of 12,255 submissions;
- Identification of 10,894 individuals who were prospects for enrollment;
- An estimated 24,856 calls (including multiple callbacks) to individuals in line for enrollment by XEROX call center staff, insurance agents/brokers and health care guides;
- Referral of 1,188 individuals to certified NMHIX insurance agents/brokers through implementation of a new real-time outreach database technology called the Agent Dashboard that seamlessly connected consumers with agents/brokers in their community;
- Scheduling of 498 appointments for individuals with NMHIX agents/brokers and health care guides; and
- Sending 3,154 follow-up emails to individuals expressing interest in getting enrolled.
"We took all the lessons learned over the past few months on how to reach people, help them select the best plan and motivate them to act so that we were able to hone in on what would be most effective in getting as many New Mexicans as possible enrolled by April 15, 2014," said NMHIX Board Member Jason Sandel. He added, "Literally everyone involved with us throughout the state pulled together. On behalf of the NMHIX Board and Staff, I cannot thank them enough. We are proud of the results we've achieved so far, and look forward to being even more effective in the months ahead."
Sandel said the NMHIX board has been unanimous and unwavering in asking the federal government to extend the open enrollment period due to the challenges faced in fall 2013 related to the website www.healthcare.gov. The board is continuing to work with the federal government to get resources for New Mexico, and recently had two regional specialists added to resolve complex situations.
The electronic postcard push was the most recent outreach attempt to increase enrollment. Since open enrollment started, the Exchange has supported and tracked more than 200 outreach events in New Mexico, working with partner organizations, supporting businesses, college campuses, and NMHIX agents/brokers and health care guides certified with the Federal Facilitated Marketplace (FFM).
In the coming months, NMHIX will continue to enroll individuals who qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, or SEP, based on experiencing a "life-changing" event, will continue efforts to enroll Native Americans (who are not subject to the open enrollment period) and will also focus on enrolling additional small businesses and their employees through the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program). In addition, NMHIX is developing its own Exchange platform for individual enrollments, which it plans to launch in October 2014.
"This is a great beginning, but we believe there are many good things to come. We will continue to refine and improve everything we do and look forward to a very successful open enrollment period again next fall," Damron said.
About New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange
New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX) was created to help individuals and small businesses get access to affordable health insurance plans. NMHIX helps consumers compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. NMHIX also helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance and if so, at what level. Through SHOP, small businesses are able to purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans. Health Care Guides and brokers/agents are available throughout the state to help with signing up for NMHIX coverage. For more information on New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, please visit www.BeWellNM.com or www.NMHIX.com, or text BeWellNM to 311411.
This press release is supported by Funding Opportunity Number IE-HBE-12-001 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.
About New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange
NMHIX was created to help individuals and small businesses get access to affordable health insurance plans. NMHIX will also help consumers compare health insurance plans, learn about premium assistance that is available, and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget.
The following files are available for download: