What You Need to Know
Health insurance is important if you’re a college student in New Mexico.
You can receive coverage via the Affordable Care Act if you apply with your parents, by yourself, or for a federal subsidy.
If you have low income, you can find affordable options like Medicaid and CHIP on YesNM.com.
Health Insurance Options for New Mexico Students
Are you a college student in New Mexico? If so, it’s essential that you invest in health insurance. Even if you consider yourself young and healthy, a costly, unexpected medical bill can take a serious toll on your finances and future. There are various health insurance options for students in New Mexico.
Why New Mexico Students Need Health Insurance
If you’re a New Mexico college student, health insurance is a must to avoid extreme out-of-pocket expenses. Once you have coverage, you’ll find that visits to the doctor as well as treatments and medications are more affordable.
Keep in mind, however, that your health insurance may not cover every medical expense you have. In addition, you’ll need to pay for premiums, which can add up and become costly depending on the plan you select.
What to Consider When Searching for Student Health Coverage in New Mexico
There are several questions to ask yourself before you look for student health insurance in New Mexico, including:
- Will You Attend School In-State or Out of State? Whether or not you attend college in New Mexico will play an important role in the health insurance options available to you.
- Can Someone Claim You as a Dependent? If you’re under age 26, your parents or legal guardians may be able to claim you as a dependent.
- Will You Stay on Your Parents’ Plan or Enroll in Your Own Plan? You can start your own plan or remain on your parents’ plan until your 26th birthday.
- Which Plans Are Cheaper? Since you’re likely on a budget, it’s a good idea to consider less expensive plans.
- Which Plans Offer Better Coverage? You’ll want to look into plans that offer the type of coverage that is best for your individual health needs and preferences.
- What If You Skip Health Insurance? If you forgo health insurance, you’ll need to figure out how to pay for your medical care.
- What Are the Health Insurance Rules in New Mexico? New Mexico has its own unique health insurance rules that you should learn.
How to Get Covered Under Your Parents’ Plan in New Mexico
If your parents invest in health insurance and you’re under age 26, they may add you to their plan. If they do, your coverage may be more expensive than if you obtained health insurance elsewhere.
Additionally, if you go to college in a state other than New Mexico, there’s a chance your parents plan will cover less than it usually would. The good news is you’ll be able to seek care from providers in your college state as long as their plan is network-based.
How to Get Covered Under Your School Plan in New Mexico
You may be able to obtain health insurance through your school’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Administered by BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico, Academic Blue is University of New Mexico’s SHIP.1
With this plan, benefits are paid at 20% of the allowable amount, unless noted otherwise. If you go with a SHIP at your college, confirm that it offers the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) essential benefits.
How to Get Covered through the Affordable Care Act in New Mexico
There are a number of health insurance options to choose from through the ACA in New Mexico:
- Apply with your parents. Your parents can add you to their health insurance plan if you’re under age 26, even if you are financially independent, married, or live somewhere other than New Mexico.
- Apply by yourself. Since Louisiana uses Healthcare.gov, the federal healthcare insurance marketplace, you can enroll in your own plan. You’ll find a variety of plans at different prices. You can also buy your own plan via BeWellnm, New Mexico’s health insurance exchange. You can choose from a number of plans with different coverage options and price points. 2
- Apply for federal subsidy. If you earn between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, ACA’s federal subsidy may be an option for you. This option caps the amount you’ll pay for your health insurance premiums.3
How You Get Covered through Medicaid or YesNM in New Mexico
- Medicaid: Medicaid is a federally funded, state run program that provides health insurance to millions of low-income Americans. It may make sense if you don’t qualify for your parent’s plan and need to find health insurance on your own. You can sign up via YesNM, the state’s Medicaid portal. 4
- CHIP: If you don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford private health insurance, New MexiKids, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), may be an option. You must be a resident of New Mexico, age 18 or under or a primary caregiver with a child(ren) who are 18 years old or under, and a U.S. citizen. 5
Other Options for Coverage in New Mexico
- Catastrophic health plan: If you’re under age 30 and experience a life event that qualifies as a hardship exemption, a catastrophic health plan may be best for you. 6 It’s a high-deductible option that can save you a lot of money in the event of a medical emergency.
- Short-term health insurance: Often referred to as temporary health insurance, short-term health insurance provides temporary coverage when you have a gap in permanent coverage. Keep in mind that while short-term plans are typically cheaper than ACA plans, they lack vital benefits such as preventive services.
Resources for New Mexico Students
These resources can help you find the right student health insurance plan in New Mexico:
If you need help finding New Mexico student health insurance, we have you covered. Enter your zip code to see all of your options. Good luck with your search for student health insurance in the Land of Enchantment.