Bill could guarantee health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions | KOB 4
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Bill could guarantee health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions

Kai Porter
March 07, 2019 06:15 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. — HB 436 passed on the House floor by a vote of 40-24 on Thursday afternoon. The bill would bring New Mexico's state law dealing with pre-existing conditions into line with federal law. 

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Rep. Liz Thomson, the bill's sponsor, says health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions is already protected under the federal Affordable Care Act. She wants New Mexico's state law to do the same.

"Because before the Affordable Care Act came along, insurance companies could discriminate based on gender, they charge women more, and on pre-existing conditions," Thomson said. 

Rep. Thomson, a cancer survivor, worries if the Affordable Care Act is changed to no longer require coverage of pre-existing conditions. Many New Mexicans would not have coverage.

"About one-third of a million New Mexicans under the age of 65 have at least one pre-existing condition and probably most people over the age of 65 have more than one... and I'm one of those people. I'm a cancer survivor. I have a son with autism. Our family is affected by this," Thomson said. 

With just nine days left in the 60-day legislative session, Thomson is optimistic there's still enough time to get her bill up to the Governor's desk. 

"To me, it's pretty much a no-brainer. We're not changing anything per se," she said. "We're just locking in what's in federal law so there's not going to be any increased costs because we're already doing it." 

Now that the bill passed the House it heads over to the Senate for consideration.

Track this bill during the legislative session

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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