NHeLP Comments to HHS on New Mexico Waiver

Executive Summary

In comments to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), the National Health Law Program urges the Secretary to reject New Mexico’s Sec. 1115 Medicaid waiver project, so-called “Centennial Care.” While it includes several true experimental pilots, such as a pilot to improve access to long-acting reversible contraceptives for women and another to provide in-home prenatal and postpartum care, the application also proposes numerous waivers likely to impede access to coverage and care for low-income New Mexicans. These provisions do not promote the objectives of the Medicaid program and should not be approved, including new premiums with disenrollment and lockouts for nonpayment, high co-payments for non-emergency use of the Emergency Department, termination of Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) services for 19-20 year olds, thinner benefit packages for parents and caretakers, limited family planning eligibility, termination of Transitional Medical Assistance for low-income parents, and a phase out of retroactive eligibility. Finally, while the proposal includes increased funding for treatment of substance use disorders and mental health conditions, the National Health Law Program argues that the resources should be focused on proven, community-based treatments supported by available evidence, rather than institutional care.

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