ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwired - November 26, 2013) - The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX) has announced the launch of the new cost comparison tool on BeWellNM.com. The plan comparison tool was created in response to a need for an easier way to compare actual New Mexico rates for the Individual Exchange.
NMHIX wanted to provide residents with an easy to use tool that allows them to compare plans and costs with just a few keystrokes. Individuals can also plug their estimated government subsidy (see Kaiser Calculator) into the tool to see what plans will cost.
"Until now, New Mexicans were not able to access a plan comparison tool without going through the application process on the federal site," said Mike Nunez, CEO NMHIX. "We needed to take action during this critical time so that we could assist individuals who need to be informed now in anticipation of the federal site working in the next few weeks. We thought the best way to help New Mexicans was to develop a New Mexican solution where individuals can compare plans by metal level, carrier, out-of-pocket costs or deductibles. What we want is for our residents to at least be able to start a conversation with their family and community about their options."
NMHIX partnered with the local firm Duke City Software to develop the comparison tool following complaints from federal site users on having to first register in order to see plans as well as the overall lack of functionality. Another complaint was the time it took for users to sift through various combinations of insurance plans, pricing structure, co-payments, and deductibles via a paper process.
"Because it takes the average shopper 18 visits before deciding which policy to buy, the comparison tool was essential for us to create so that New Mexicans were armed with the right facts to make a timely decision when they can register and enroll through healthcare.gov for coverage beginning January 1," said Debra Hammer, Chief Information Officer for NMHIX
Even though the New Mexico Exchange currently serves only businesses, Exchange officials asked Duke City Software to develop software that will allow individuals to quickly and easily sift through their alternatives, evaluate the plans' details and compare them.
"It's exciting that New Mexicans are now able to easily see what is offered on the Exchange," said Hammer. "We think that this tool is something that other states could offer their residents to help with outreach and enrollment efforts."
"This is the benefit of the New Mexico Exchange," said Gabriel Parra, an attorney with Presbyterian Healthcare Services and an Exchange Director. "If there were no New Mexico Exchange we'd be at the mercy of the federal site. By taking it into our control, we're able to respond to New Mexicans."
The plan comparison tool can be accessed on the New Mexico Exchange website, www.BeWellNM.com, which does not require registration and has been easily accessed since it went live Oct. 1.
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 will also help consumers compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. NMHIX will help individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance and if so, at what level. Through SHOP, small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans. Individuals and small businesses can start enrolling in NMHIX plans October 1, 2013 with coverage effective starting January 1, 2014. Health Care Guides and brokers/agents are available throughout the state to help with signing up for NMHIX coverage.
For more information on NMHIX, please visit www.NMHIX.com