NM Health Care Costs Rising Faster than Nation

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the nationwide average premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 6.1 percent in 2007. While that is slower than in recent years, in New Mexico (according to the Albuquerque Journal subscription required), prices increased by about 8 percent.
Among the factors cited as raising prices in New Mexico is “upward price pressure from physicians” who are being squeezed by declining Medicare and other public-payer reimbursements. This is undoubtedly a big part of the problem, especially since New Mexico’s reliance on public programs (table 1) for health insurance is the third-highest in the nation.
Of course, the state’s high number of mandates — New Mexico added four this year — must take part of the blame as well.
With health insurance rates rising and Governor Richardson pushing for “universal” health care with little in the way of needed reforms, things don’t seem likely to improve for New Mexico health care any time soon.

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