Pay for critically ill, NM official tells Washington

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New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance John Franchini sent a letter to the federal government Wednesday asking Washington to pay for all health coverage for more than 1,500 critically ill New Mexicans through the end of the year.

In his two-page correspondence to Gary Cohen, director of the federal Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, on Thursday, Franchini wrote:

“I am very concerned about the disruption that will be caused to members of the PCIP by the changes of contract terms being proposed by our federal partners. Many are currently receiving a course of treatment and their continuity of care will be at risk if the proposed changes go into effect.”

The federal government is planning to move the critically ill population into a new health coverage plan as of July 1. The state didn’t learn until three weeks ago about the new plan, which could push health coverage out of reach for many by raising deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, state officials have said.

Franchini wrote that Washington’s “abrupt decision” occurred after the New Mexico Legislature session had ended and “leaves us unable to even ask the state legislature to appropriate supplementary funds.”

Franchini concluded:

“I call on the federal government to fulfill its commitment by paying the full costs of the NM PCIP program as it originally agreed to do.”

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