beWellnm Rolls Through NMSU to Provide Health Care Information


beWellnm is New Mexico’s health insurance exchange established under the Affordable Care Act five years ago. It is an organization that provides education, resources, and outreach throughout New Mexico to help the community understand what the market place is, what the ten essential health benefits are and the advanced premium tax subsidies with tax share reduction savings.

What does this have to do with college students? It is never too early to enroll in a health insurance plan if you have not so already. A health emergency is never planned so it is vital to be insured when the time comes.

Maureen Manring is the Director of Communication & Outreach for beWellnm. Manring provided key information to all that attended the 3rd-Annual Road Trip to Healthcare Showcase at Dona Ana Community College.

Marning shared her thoughts about New Mexico residents and for college students at both UNM, NMSU and all New Mexico community colleges about the advantages of enrolling in a health care plan.

Manring went on to say,”We try to connect New Mexico residents with the resources within their community so that they can get enrolled, re-enrolled and be insured. Students should apply for health benefits if they are not already under one with their parents or employer and meet the proper requirements.”

New Mexico is very lucky to offer four health insurance plans. Most states only offer one plan to its residents. The four health plans are Molina Health Care, which is the most commonly purchased, followed by NM Health Connection, then Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Christus Health Plan.

There are over 45,000 New Mexicans who use beWellnm as a guide to pick one of the four health insurances that New Mexico provides. Open enrollment starts November 1- December 15 and can be applied online for quicker response.

College students are not thinking about what type of healthcare plan they should be enrolled in. Some students are lucky enough to still be a part of their parent’s health insurance, but most are not. Manring understands that the youth of New Mexico isn’t their target audience to apply for health insurance but doesn’t want to shy away from that audience because medical emergencies happen on their own clock.

Manring went into depth by advising college students by stating, “Take the time if you don’t have insurance, and meet with someone to talk about your circumstance and find out how a specific health insurance may help you. Once you turn 26, you are no longer eligible to be part of your parent’s health plan. Stay informed because you’ll never know until a medical emergency happens, that you need that health plan to be covered with the proper treatment.”

Paige Duhamel is the Health Care Policy Manager with the Offices of Superintendent of Insurances and spoke about the future problems that young New Mexico residents could face.

“New Mexico residents are protected for example, younger students tend to get into accidents at a higher rate, if the individual is taken to an out of network emergency room, the network cannot balance bill (pay for everything) you for the service, we have protections for you that say no, I pay what I am responsible for. The health care provider and emergency room representatives have to work it out amongst themselves”

Birth control is covered without cost sharing through Medicare or parent health care and shouldn’t be charged for insertion of IUD’s or removal of IUD’s and if so, should contact their insurance provider or beWellnm to assort through that appeal process. Women are told to pay for the $20 co-pay and believe they should pay it because they were told to, but that is not true. Most insurance plans cover women for this type of service.

Duhamel continued with, “We encourage people to get enrolled and get covered. It doesn’t seem important until something happens. Stay informed and know your options because New Mexico has four carriers to help you. It is ok to question things. College students can’t afford copays or certain medical procedures. We are here to talk with the provider to knock off that expense.”

The income that college students receive is not at a high value. The jobs that are provided consist of food chains, retail, or telemarketing. Companies higher college students most commonly for part-time positions which doesn’t allow them to qualify for the company health insurance plan. Companies with 50+ employees are required to provide a health insurance plan.

Students often rely on the Campus Health Clinic, but sadly the clinic cannot fix a broken bone or perform high end surgeries. Students between the ages of 18-26 believe they’ll never get sick and they are healthy as can be. Unfortunately, when the time comes that a medical procedure is needed to be done and the student is not insured, it is a tough situation.

Every college student is advised to stay informed with the health insurance plans that the state offers. It doesn’t matter if the student is a single dependent or has a dependent(s) of their own. If a medical emergency or health problem occurs in a student’s life, the student should be properly treated because they are covered by their health insurance. It doesn’t seem important until something happens.

For further questions, students can go to or

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