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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR Altamirano
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
1/26/06
2/5/06 HB
SHORT TITLE Medical or Premium Assistance Program
SB 267/aSFC
ANALYST Weber
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
Appropriation
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
FY06
FY07
NFI
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
Duplicates HB 118
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
Responses Received From
Human Services Department (HSD)
Department of Health (DOH)
Aging and Long Term Services Department (ALTSD)
SUMMARY
Synopsis of SFC Amendment
The Senate Finance Committee makes the following changes:
1. On page 1, line 13, strike "PERSONS" and insert in lieu thereof "CHILDREN AND
PREGNANT WOMEN".
2. On page 2, line 4, after "funds" insert "received by the state from public or private grants or
donations".
3. On page 2, line 7, strike "persons" and insert in lieu thereof "children up to the age of
twelve if not part of a sibling group; children up to the age of eighteen if part of a sibling group
that includes a child up to the age of twelve; and pregnant women".
4. On page 2, line 9, strike the quotation mark and insert in lieu thereof:
pg_0002
Senate Bill 267/aSFC Page 2
"The department, in implementing the provisions of this subsection, shall:
(1) establish rules that encourage pregnant women to participate in prenatal care; and
(2) not provide a benefit package that exceeds the benefit package provided to state
employees."".
The effect of the changes is to limit premium assistance programs to pregnant women, children
up to age 12, or 18 if part of a sibling group that includes a child up to age 12. On page 2, line 4
the addition makes clearer the types of approved fund sources.
The final addition directs HSD to establish rules encouraging pregnant women participate in
prenatal care programs and that any benefit package for premium assistance participation shall
not offer benefits that exceed the state employees health insurance benefit provisions.
Synopsis of Original Bill
Senate Bill 267 proposes that the Medical Assistance Division of the New Mexico Human
Services Department may, by rule, provide medical and premium assistance to persons who are
New Mexico residents and who are ineligible for federal public assistance. The medical and
premium assistance proposed in the bill would be applicable to medical or long-term care
insurance. Any medical or premium assistance subject to the provisions of the bill would depend
on the availability of appropriations and federal, state or other funds.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
In the absence of an appropriation there is no direct fiscal implication unless HSD would have
unused funds and budget authority.
SIGNIFICANT ISSUES
The bill would allow HSD to develop rules to pay private health insurance premiums. HSD
reports there are approximately 400,000 uninsured New Mexicans. With such a large uninsured
population a program of this nature would have applicability. If a benefit package such as the
State Coverage Insurance program were used, an anticipated premium would be about $300 per
month. This represents a total potential need of $1.4 billion to cover all the uninsured at this
benefit level. The bill does not suggest any eligibility qualifiers such as minimum income the
HSD rules should include. Consideration may be given to including these in the bill to ensure
legislative intent.
MW/yr