State Senate approves Medicaid buy-in study, guardianship reforms | KOB 4
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State Senate approves Medicaid buy-in study, guardianship reforms

The Associated Press
February 07, 2018 06:45 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico will study opportunities to provide Medicaid coverage through a fee to people who earn too much money to qualify for the health care program for the poor.

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The state Senate voted 33-8 on Wednesday to commission a year-long study of possibilities for expanding health care coverage by allowing more people to buy into Medicaid. The House already has approved the measure.

Decisions about whether to proceed with a buy-in program would be left until next year after GOP New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez leaves office.

The buy-in concept involves redirecting federal subsidies for coverage in the marketplaces created under former President Barack Obama's health care law to a new category of Medicaid. It has the backing of a coalition of local public health advocacy groups.

The Senate also voted 40-0 on Wednesday for reforms designed to increase state oversight and public access to information regarding professional guardians and conservators who manage finances and care for vulnerable elderly and disabled people. The bill now moves to the House.

The Senate-approved bill includes more stringent reporting and financial accountability measures. It also requires that conservators be bonded or secure other asset-protection.

Those placed under guardianship or conservatorships are typically elderly, those with dementia or Alzheimer's or others who need help with their decision-making or finances.

Currently, guardians and conservators proceedings are secret and families have complained about being barred from visiting or communicating with their loved ones once a professional guardian is appointed.

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The Associated Press

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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