New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP)

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) is dedicated to advancing economic and social justice through education, advocacy and litigation. NMCLP works with low-income New Mexicans to improve living conditions, increase opportunities and protect the rights of people living in poverty. NMCLP’s approach is to focus on areas that present the greatest opportunity for systemic improvements. NMCLP is dedicated to advancing access to health care coverage for low-income New Mexicans, especially children, through education, advocacy and litigation. See below for more information about NMCLP’s recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!

ACA Implementation

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  • NM Center on Law and Poverty Releases Report on Enrollment Barriers

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    NM: The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty and the Southwest Women’s Law Center co-authored a report  about the launch of New Mexico’s healthcare enrollment systems in October 2013.  The report highlights findings regarding enrollment barriers and makes recommendations to inform the development of a state level enrollment process with the goals of strengthening outreach, reducing enrollment barriers, increasing consumer affordability, and improving transparency on enrollment data.
  • NM Center on Law and Poverty Comments on Affordability Gap

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    NM: Sireesha Manne, an attorney for the New Mexico Center On Law and Poverty, was quoted in a Fronteras article about New Mexicans who fall into an “affordability gap”—those whose income make them ineligible for Medicaid but too little to afford Exchange coverage.  Manne spoke about the out-of-pocket costs associated with bronze plans available on the Exchange, “For a low-income family that’s making $25,000 to $30,000 a year, [$12,000 is] an extraordinary amount of money to pay out of pocket, which means that a lot of people are going to be susceptible to still having medical debt.”

  • NM Center on Law and Poverty Advocates for Basic Health Program Study

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    NM: The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) advocated for Governor Martinez to preserve funding in the state’s budget bill to study the Basic Health Program (BHP). NMCLP encouraged stakeholders to call the Governor to ensure the funding is not line-item vetoed. 

  • KidsWell NM and NY Grantees Discuss ACA Affordability

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    NM & NY: Two KidsWell grantees—Sireesha Manne, staff attorney for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, and Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president for the Community Service Society (CSS)—were quoted in Stateline about the affordability of the ACA.  Manne stated, “For those with very low wages trying to raise kids, after paying for housing, electricity, food, transportation, and child care, asking people to pay another $50 or $100 a month, that’s just out of reach.”  Benjamin noted the variation in cost of living across the U.S., “What’s poor in Mississippi is different from what’s poor in New York state.  People have so little disposable income in New York City and other urban areas, but the law doesn’t do geographic indexing.”

  • NMCLP Launched a Healthcare Toolkit!

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    NM: The New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty (NMCLP) launched a healthcare toolkit with information on health care reform, Medicaid expansion, and Health Insurance Marketplaces. 
  • NMCLP Published ACA Materials for Educational Trainings and Presentations

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    NM: The New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty (NMCLP) developed materials promoting the ACA and Medicaid expansion that have been widely distributed during trainings and presentations around the state. NMCLP is also using the materials to educate New Mexico’s Native American Communities on the ACA and how they will be affected. NMCLP has presented the training – Making Medicaid Work for Tribes: What Tribal Officials and Healthcare Workforce Need to Know –to 19 pueblos and two Apache tribes.
  • NMCLP Released Resource Guide to Understanding Healthcare Reform

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    NM: The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) released a comprehensive resource guide providing information about the new healthcare options available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and their impact on New Mexico residents. The guide discusses: how individuals can obtain coverage through their employers, Medicare, Medicaid and the Exchange; new Medicaid and Exchange eligibility rules for children and adults; information about insurance consumer protections; the individual mandate; eligibility rules for immigrants; and the application and appeals process. The guide also provides a list of ACA and legal resources. 

    NMCLP also published brochures for individuals who are uninsured, Native Americans, and immigrant families.  

     

  • NMCLP & YI Team Up to Hold Educational Sessions on the ACA

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    NMCLP & YI: The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty and Young Invincibles partnered with the Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department in New Mexico to hold three informational sessions in June on the ACA and how it will affect families and young adults residing the county.
  • NMCLP Submit Comments on QHP Submission Guidelines

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    NM: The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty submitted comments to the New Mexico Division of Insurance in response to proposed Qualified Health Plan submission guidelines that were released in March 2013.
  • Read All About it! NMCLP Published Uninsured and Medicaid Application Fact Sheets for New Mexicans

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    NM: The New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty published a fact sheet – How Will the New Healthcare Reform Law Affect Me? – outlining how more than 400,000 uninsured adults could receive coverage from Medicaid Expansion and Health Insurance Exchanges (available in Spanish). In addition, NMCLP also released a New Mexico Medicaid Application Checklist that walks through a four step process to help individuals and families determine eligibility and begin the enrollment process (available in Spanish).

  • NM's Take at What's at Stake: Find Out What Parents and Advocates Need to Know about Health Reform in New Mexico

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    New America Media & NM: New America Media and The New Mexico Center on Law & Poverty held an ethnic media roundtable session on January 18th to discuss how the ACA works to expand coverage, what is at stake when implementing the ACA in New Mexico, how to access coverage for children, and how to advocate for health care reform.

  • NMCLP Held an Event Highlighting Current ACA Implementation in New Mexico

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    NM: The New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty (NMCLP) held an Action For Health! event for families highlighting: what ACA provisions are currently being implemented in the state; basic information about the state’s current Medicaid program; Medicaid expansion and the opportunity for increased eligibility in the state; and how to ensure that quality, affordable dental care is available to all New Mexicans. NMCLP also provided testimony before the New Mexico Legislative Health and Human Services (LHHS) Committee which called a meeting to discuss better comprehensive care to American Indians and the Medicaid Expansion.
  • NMCLP Released Factsheet on the ACA's Impact on Children and Families

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    The New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty (NMCLP) released a factsheet discussing healthcare coverage affordability for low-income New Mexico residents under the ACA. The factsheet argues that the tax subsidies may not be enough to make coverage affordable. For example, a single mother with two children earning $2,387 per month does not qualify for Medicaid and even with the help of subsidies she would still pay $130 out of pocket per month. NMCLP encourages individuals to advocate for State policies to address the affordability problem.
  • NMCLP Commented on Interim Final Provisions on Agents and Brokers

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    New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty (NMCLP) submitted comments focused on the Interim Final provision under which states may permit agents and brokers to assist individuals in applying for advanced payments of premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. NMCLP recommends that (1) CMS adopt stronger federal standards to define the “producer” role and ensure that consumers receive adequate information about their options for obtaining coverage information and enrolling in the plan that is right for them; (2) states opting to permit brokers to serve the “assistance” function include in their Exchange Blueprint details of any compensation arrangements the Exchange may have with  brokers and that states establish rules specifying when and how brokers must disclose conflicts of interest or financial compensation information to consumers; and (3) CMS develop standards to require brokers to provide information about plan options that is complete, unbiased, and understandable to consumers.
  • NMCLP Submitted Memo on Benefits of Implementing Express Lane Eligibility

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    The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) submitted a memo to New Mexico’s Human Services Department highlighting the benefits of implementing an Express Lane Eligibility (ELE) system under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA). According to the memo, now is an opportune time for the state to adopt ELE because it would simplify the New Mexico's Medicaid enrollment systems and prepare the state for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion deadline. The memo provides an overview of how ELE functions, agencies that would benefit from the system, and examples of states that have implemented ELE systems to support SNAP and TANF programs.
  • NMCLP Released Fact Sheet on Basic Health Program

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    The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) released a fact sheet that provides an overview of the Basic Health Program (BHP), how it will affect New Mexicans, and answers frequently asked questions. According to the fact sheet, if New Mexico elects to implement a BHP, (1) low-income individuals and families will have enhanced access to more affordable health coverage; (2) the state will save an estimated $2.7 million from transitioning State Coverage Insurance (SCI) enrollees to the BHP; (3) low-income families  will experience more stable and uninterrupted coverage even during income fluctuation; (4) New Mexicans will have more coverage options at a lower cost; and (5) there will be no out-of-pocket costs for Native Americans.
  • NMCLP Submitted Comments and Concerns on State Insurance Exchange RFP

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    The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty submitted comments to New Mexico’s Human Services Department expressing concerns about the agency's Request For Proposal (RFP) soliciting bids for the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX) Information Technology Eligibility, SHOP and Compare System. NMHIX will work in conjunction with ASPEN, the Department’s new eligibility and case management system for public assistance programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • NMCLP Released Presentation on Insurance Exchange and Basic Health Program's Impact on Native Americans

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    The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) released a presentation focusing on key issues regarding how the Health Insurance Exchange and Basic Health Program (BHP) will impact Native Americans in the State. The key issues  for the Exchange include: (1) cost of coverage; (2) adequate provider networks; (3) quality health plans; (4) governing the Exchange; (5) outreach and enrollment; (6) consultation with tribes and urban Indians; and (7) continuity of coverage.  The presentation also detailed New Mexico's progress toward establishing an Exchange and encouraged stakeholders to reach out to the Governor, legislators, and Office of Health Care Reform.
  • NMCLP Assisted Lawmakers with Introduction of ACA Memorials

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    The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty assisted lawmakers with the drafting and introduction of several ACA-related Memorials.  HM 38/SM 54 would request that the Legislative Finance Committee study a Basic Health Program (BHP) for low-income individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid.  The Memorials would also request that the Human Services Department and the New Mexico Office of Health Care Reform develop an automated enrollment system and application process capable of integrating a BHP.  HM 38 passed the House by a 51-13 margin on February 9.  In addition, HM 52/SM 67 would grant legislative oversight of the $34 million Exchange Establishment Grant.  Specifically, the measures request that the New Mexico Office of Health Care Reform report to and consult with the legislature about expenditures and activities pursuant to the grant.  SM 67 passed the Senate in a unanimous vote (36-0) on February 9.  Finally, HM 18/SM 42 request that the New Mexico Office of Health Care Reform, the Human Services Department, and the Taxation and Revenue Department implement an integrated enrollment system for Medicaid, any Health Insurance Exchange and the Basic Health Program.  Despite opposition in committee and on the floor, HM 18 passed the House by a 36-28 margin on February 9 (thanks to effective lobbying efforts from a Center attorney).
  • NMCLP Sent Letter to HHS Advocating for Implementation of a Basic Health Plan

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    The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius on the urgent need to provide guidance regarding implementation of a BHP. The letter notes the organization’s difficulty in garnering state support for a BHP due to unresolved questions about the federal requirements, particularly around how payments to states adopting the BHP will be determined. Areas most in need of clarification include the: (1) “per enrollee” funding formula calculation; (2) interpretation of the funding formula and subsequent reconciliation; (3) BHP administrative costs; (4) flexibility of BHP implementation; and (5) BHP participation in reinsurance and risk-adjustment programs. The Center is now working with the state legislature to authorize a study of the BHP for the State.

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