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  • Side Effects: Bad News for New Mexico Residents Who Like Their Current Health Plan

    Once again, the promise that Americans can keep the health coverage they like under Obamacare has been broken. National Health Insurance, Aetna, John Alden, and Principle have reported that they “need to make adjustments in their business to accommodate the nation’s new federal health care law.”

    The National Health Insurance Co. (NHIC), a Dallas-based insurer, recently announced that it would no longer offer insurance plans in the individual and small group markets in New Mexico. According to NHIC President Charles Harris, “After careful consideration…National Health Insurance Company has determined it will not be able to meet the requirements set forth by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

    NHIC is not the only insurer that is leaving the state’s individual and small groups market, which reduces competition and leaves New Mexico residents with fewer options for obtaining coverage. Aetna, John Alden and Principal also said they are pulling out of the market. In a letter from Assurant Health, spokeswoman Julia Hix wrote, “Time Insurance [Co.] and John Alden Life Insurance [Co.] will no longer offer new business sales in the New Mexico individual medical expense market.”

    Principal Insurance Co. has yet to announce the insurance plans it will keep or drop. The insurer plans to give 180 days notice of its “intent to discontinue and non-renew coverage.” Principal Insurance has indicated plans to coordinate with UnitedHealth in transferring 3,600 customers who will lose coverage.

    Many New Mexican residents who had coverage and liked their health plan will now have to switch plans, in direct violation of one of President Barack Obama’s repeated promises during the health care reform debate. While the total tally of those who will end up losing coverage is unknown, it will likely worsen as Obamacare is further implemented.

    This post was co-authored by Derek Pyburn.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Side Effects: Bad News for New Mexico Residents Who Like Their Current Health Plan

    1. Lotus_Man says:

      So what?

      NHIC is a trivial player in the New Mexico market. It was probably just un-economic to compete in the State and this was an easy way for them to bow out. I think you really need to look deeper at the specific situation here. Why are they only doing this in New Mexico and not in other States that are subject to the same conditions? They are not pulling out of Texas. NM is not a high cost State overall. Its just small. An given it's trivial market share in the State it is insignificant to NHIC's overall business. So they can make a statement that is at virtually no cost to them. Further, all their policies will be carried on by another company (UnitedHealth) so what's the difference? The faceless bureaucrat denying your coverage under an virtually identical policy will just have a different name. Frankly, this is much ado about nothing.

      But finally, who in their right mind would want to keep a policy that would denies coverage to their children if they get sick or have an existing illness — especially compared to a identical policy that won't. I certainly wouldn't keep such a policy.

    2. Joan, new mexico says:

      Unfortunately, Ms. Nix and Heritage do not appear to be really interested in the origins of economic malaise in New Mexico and are especially not interested in ANY criticism what so ever regarding the machinations of the giant U.S. health insurance industry, which employs an army of lobbyists to get favorable results from both parties . Health insurers appear to have prospered under all administrations and with every piece of legislation.(Obamacare is no exception).

    3. Steve, New Jersey says:

      I thought he said, "If you like your policy – you can keep it." Not, "If you like your policy, and it's issued by a major player in a market important to that carrier, then you can keep it." I guess they're the same sentence really.

      I'd also like a sanity check. I could have sworn the P in HIPAA (1996) stood for "portability" and outlawed pre-existing conditions – or at least severely curtailed them – through the concept of creditable coverage. The Clintons fixed the insurance industry with that. What happened that made Obama have to fix the very same problem 14 years later? I don't recall Bush repealing HIPAA.

    4. Donald Archdale, NC says:

      This is Obama's plan all along when they did not get Single Payer plan originally.

      They will get it by having the insurance companies stop insuring people.

      This is not hard to figure out.

    5. W.P.Koch,San LuIs Ob says:

      WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN

      Congress and the White House should stop squandering the people’s money and use savings to improve quality of basic invested entitlements. Preserve the 2010 tax schedule. Congress should improve basic Medicare. Vote opponents to this “out”. Citizens come first.

      It is time the U.S. reduces its human rites and police activities for the World by lobbying the United Nations, NATO and Interpol to “take on more”. 800 bases in 63 countries across the world should be reduced. Starting with Iraq, continue training for self reliance. After a surge in Afghanistan repeat above and remove corruption starting with monitoring accounts, substituting minerals mining and food crops for drugs. Decrease forces in selected areas such as Germany, Bosnia and Okinawa.

      Cut bloated federal bureaucracy. Combine CDC, EPA and FDA. Combine the FAA, NHTSA and Transportation Department. Combine GAO and CBO. Phase in outsourcing. Departments should eliminate “must spend all”. Return “unused” yearly budget to the treasury.

      Eliminate all 32 CZARS Mr. president. Reduce your 469 member staff which makes nearly 39 million per year! Halt first lady $180,000 air force one vacation trips. Cancel $ 20,000,000 executive order (HB 1388) to relocate key Hamas members to U.S… Stop “$200 million per day” presidential foreign trips.

      Contribute to only one of: The World Bank or International Monetary Fund or U.S. Agency for International Development.

      Reduce foreign aid bribery. For example, no aid to oil rich -Iraq. $37 billion and increasing with $8.7 billion of Iraq development funds not accounted for.

      Charge bailed companies (TARP) for their huge executive bonuses at taxpayer expense. Government should sell its shares to recoup for taxpayer. About $154 billion owed.

      Congress should reduce the “stimulus” and monetary expenditures by halting: over budget projects, non relevant earmarks and vote bribery. Do not pay student loans for congressional staff. Please- no private or military jets for congress including Pelosi’s family at taxpayer expense. $2.1 million for Pelosi over 2 years. Congress should set commercial travel cost standards and controls.

      Reduce medical cost by: allowing purchasing anywhere in U.S., “tort reform”, and reducing “red tape”. Trace funds to local medical groups for expediting billing cost speed, doctor/patient verification and fraud reduction.

      Federal government should enforce existing immigration laws. Complete the improved fence. Entitlements or benefits should be for only citizens. Deport criminal “illegals”. Only workers on a Visa Program qualify for needed medical benefits

      Improve medical expense tax deduction for citizens reaching age 65. Provide corporations tax reduction incentives for hiring with healthcare.

      The savings will improve funding for:” Medicare”, “Medicaid, and “Veteran’s Affairs”.

      Healthcare quality should be at least that for Congress or the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Additional benefits are: dental coverage, improved visual coverage, no drug “donut hole”, no deductibles and co-pays except for extended skilled level nursing.

      These actions will allow aid for unemployment compensation and Social Security with reinstated cost of living increases.

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