State Insurance Plan Stops Enrolling: Costs $11,320 annually per insured person

According to this recent report from the Albuquerque Journal’s Business section (subscription required although a shorter free article is available here), New Mexico’s State Coverage Insurance program has stopped enrolling new members at 40,000. This has occurred two years earlier than the government originally expected.
SCI is a funded through the federal SCHIP Program. The state pays $100 million per year on the program, approximately 1/4th of the total cost. New Mexico uses SCHIP, a program intended for children, to fund insurance for adults under a waiver that expires in 2010. Because New Mexico already has such generous Medicaid standards, the state couldn’t find enough people to spend SCHIP money on, so, in their infinite wisdom, the program was expanded.
The result is that between an employer and employee, costs for insurance under SCI come to $110 per insured person, per month. The cost of the program to federal and state taxpayers is $400 million annually and $40,000 people are covered for a total cost of $10,000 per insured person. This leaves a total cost per insured person of $11,320 annually. Considering that my Health Savings account costs my employer a total of $3,600 annually, we the people are getting ripped off big-time. Don’t you just love government programs? Couldn’t we just give everyone who doesn’t have insurance in New Mexico a fully-funded HSA and be done with it?

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