State Advocacy: New Mexico

ACA Enrollment is year-round for Native Americans

Across the country, 34% of Native American and Alaskan Native individuals are without health insurance coverage — a rate that is more than twice that of the American population at-large.  The Marketplace has the opportunity to provide affordable insurance to 579,000 uninsured American Indians and Alaska Natives of all ages. In addition, it is estimated that nine out of 10 of those individuals may also qualify for financial assistance through tax credits to purchase coverage in the Marketplace.

Many American Indians and Alaska Natives inquire how the Marketplace would impact them since they already are eligible for the Indian Health Service (IHS). We are working with groups on the ground to support rural and urban people in New Mexican tribal communities, helping them make sense of how the Affordable Care Act and Indian Health Services interact. Even though open enrollment ended on March 31, American Indian/Native Alaskan enrollment continues year round, providing another reason as to why sharing this information between advocates remains so important.

About the project and our partners

Health Action New Mexico (HANM) brings together organizations and consumers to influence policy that affects the health of all people living in New Mexico; develops policy solutions to improve access to health care and shares tools and resources for advocacy. They will team up with our member organization the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA), a national organization that advocates for improved comprehensive health, social services and economic well-being for American Indian and Alaska Native Elders.

Together, both HANM and NICOA will focus on educating AI/AN elders and their loved ones about the improved health insurance coverage and benefits under the ACA. Additionally, they will educate New Mexican tribal communities on how to successfully navigate the relationship between the ACA and services from the Indian Health Service, tribal health programs, and urban Indian health programs.

Over the next year, our partners in New Mexico will conduct trainings, work with the media, and create fact sheets and other resources to help New Mexicans access the benefits they deserve.

Check back often as we highlight the ongoing work happening in New Mexico.

For more information on what’s happening in New Mexico, contact us.