Senate Bill 317 New Mexicoadmin
On Thursday, April 7, 2022, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill 317 into New Mexico Law. This bill establishes the Health Care Affordability Fund which is set up to lower the cost of health insurance for working-class families. The bill also disallows insurance companies from charging co-pays and other cost-sharing charges when covering behavioral health claims.
The bill has been praised by many as being a necessary step in making health care more affordable to those who need it most: lower-income families and those who are currently uninsured. It will allow many patients caught in the cycle of addiction to seek treatment and finally get the help they need.
What is Senate Bill 317 New Mexico?
Senate Bill 317 of New Mexico was sponsored by Senator Martin Hickey and Senator Jeff Steinborn.
Senate Bill 317 also eliminates copays and other cost-sharing charges from being able to be applied to behavioral health services. This will encourage many New Mexicans to get the treatment they need before things spiral too far out of control for them.
Allowing people to get treatment for their mental and behavioral health issues sooner will eliminate some of the burden they out on society. Homelessness and crime stats will go down as more people are able to get treatment sooner.
The fund will be financed by a surtax on insurance companies which was recently phased out on a federal level. The tax will go from 1 percent to 3.75 percent and will help tremendously in providing health care to lower class families.
Why is this Legislation Needed for Behavioral Health in New Mexico?
This legislation is needed because it will allow approximately 23,000 currently uninsured people to get the coverage they need. This is especially important during a pandemic, when people are making the choice of either going to a doctor or putting food on the table.
The legislation also shines a light on the immense need for cheaper behavioral health treatment. Addiction and other mental health issues have skyrocketed in numbers during this unprecedented time of Covid-19.
If the treatment is more affordable, people will go sooner. This means that a person will not have to wait until they are at wit’s end before going to a professional and preventing things from getting to that level.
How is SB 317 NM Funded?
The Health Care Fund will gain funding from the tax on insurance companies that used to be a federal tax, however was phased out. This tax will now be picked up on a state level and allow the state to use that money to help those in need get the coverage they deserve.
Does SB 317 Help Cover Addiction Treatment Costs?
Yes, SB 317 will help cover addiction treatment costs for the patient by eliminating cost sharing and deductibles. This means less out-of-pocket costs for the individual.
Senator Martin Hickey says, “Mental health issues and substance use disorders plague our state… This law in place, financial barriers will no longer get in the way of treatment, giving more people access to the care they need. This is a big deal for patients, and will ultimately lower the costs of healthcare and incentivize the expansion of services as patients seek out and remain in therapy without those financial barriers in place.”
What are the Expectations for SB 317 in the Coming Years?
According to the Governor of New Mexico’s website, she stated, “The pandemic has highlighted the devastating economic impact of out-of-pocket medical bills that can lead to medical debt, bankruptcy and poor credit for the uninsured. This legislation is an important first step in helping 23,000 uninsured New Mexicans gain access to affordable health insurance.”
She is hopeful that the eventual outcome will be that many more people in the state of New Mexico will be able to get the insurance they so greatly need.
Icarus Behavioral Health New Mexico and SB 317
As a facility offering behavioral health treatment, Icarus Behavioral Health will be able to work with clients who have no income to cover a deductible. With the new legislation in place, it will be much easier for a client to get the help they need as long as they have insurance.
If you or a loved one is struggling, utilize the bill, and get the help you need. The admissions department will walk you through exactly what you need to know about getting the help you deserve.
So do not wait. Call Icarus Behavioral Health today and begin your journey to a recovered life.