New Mexico health insurer proposes 80 percent premium hike

AP-Health Overhaul IRS
FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2014 file photo, tax form 8962 is seen in Washington. If you haven’t signed up for health insurance this year, you may be getting a nudge from the taxman. The IRS is sending personalized letters to millions of uninsured taxpayers that they’re potentially on the hook for hundreds of dollars in fines. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – All four health insurance providers on New Mexico’s state-run exchange have submitted rate proposals for the coming year, despite uncertainty about key federal subsidies.

New Mexico Health Connections CEO Martin Hickey said Thursday his cooperative is proposing a nearly 80 percent premium increase for individuals.

The proposal may be lowered in July. Heather Widler of the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance says detailed descriptions of proposed rate increases will be made public later this month.

Insurance providers have been left to guess whether the federal government will continue to pay subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments and deductibles for lower-income patients.

Requirements that taxpayers maintain coverage or pay a penalty also are in limbo. Hickey says young, healthy consumers increasingly are leaving the New Mexico exchange.