I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Health insurance companies drop NM policies for individuals, small groups
National Health, Aetna, John Alden, and Principal all have told the state’s Division of Insurance that they will no longer write individual or small group plans in New Mexico, according to a Public Regulation Commission spokesman.
Some companies discontinuing coverage will renew their customers’ existing policies, but some will not spokesman Gerald Gardner told The Independent.
The companies say they need to make adjustments in their business to accommodate the nation’s new federal health care law, which forces them to expand coverage by forbidding them to deny coverage to children with preexisting conditions, among other measures.
Several of the state’s largest insurers are already severely restricting new child-only policies.
“After careful consideration of the recently enacted federal healthcare legislation, National Health Insurance Company has determined that it will not be able to meet the requirements set forth by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010,” president Charles Harris wrote in a letter announcing the decision.
A call to Harris by the Independent was not returned.
It’s unclear exactly how many New Mexicans will be affected by the change. National Health’s decision not to renew individual plans will affect 60 policies.
One company is working to transfer thousands of insurance policies to another insurer, Garner said.
“Apparently Principal is coordinating with United Health Care to transfer an estimated 3,600 insured consumers to United (replacement policies),” Garner wrote The Independent on Monday. “Principal is withdrawing from all group medical markets and exiting the medical insurance business in all of the company’s existing markets.”
Garner said Principal “says it will notify group policyholders and covered persons” and give 180 days written notice of its intent to discontinue and non-renew coverage.