The dramatic improvement can be traced to the state's health insurance exchange.
New Mexico finally has some good news when it comes to the number of people without health insurance and the number of residents living in poverty.
The numbers for both categories have decreased in the past few years, meaning there are fewer New Mexicans living in poverty and fewer who don’t have health insurance.
The number and percentage of New Mexicans without health insurance has fallen dramatically in the past three years, and in 2016, only 9 percent of the state’s residents didn’t have insurance, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
That 9 percent figure is down from 18.35 percent of the state’s residents who didn’t have health insurance in 2013. Since 2013, the number of people without health insurance has fallen by 194,000 people.
In 2016, 188,000 of the state’s residents were without health insurance, down from 382,000 people in 2013. When it comes to poverty, 19.8 percent of the state’s residents were below the poverty level in 2016, down from 21.9 percent in 2013.
The dramatic improvement in the number of people with health insurance can be traced to the state’s health insurance exchange, where companies sell individual policies as part of the Affordable Care Act, and to the fact that the state signed on to ACA’s Medicaid expansion program in 2013.
In August, 877,413 New Mexicans, or 41 percent of the population, were on Medicaid, which is a federal and state health insurance program for low-income people, according to the New Mexico Human Services Department.
About 55,000 state residents bought individual health insurance policies through the health insurance exchange this year.