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Small changes for providers with ACA start date

December 25, 2013 • Local News

When the Affordable Care Act is implemented Jan. 1, do not expect a switch to flip.

Low enrollment in the federal health insurance exchange means New Mexico health care providers will see a modest uptick, if any, in patient load.

“I will tell you that January 1st will be anticlimactic in a meaningful sense as far as the Affordable Care Act goes,” said Stephen Forney, vice president and chief financial officer of Lovelace Health System, which operates hospitals throughout New Mexico and has a campus in Roswell.

Lovelace previously offered plans on the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, the state’s portal for the federal exchange, which offers subsidized health plans as part the new health insurance law requiring almost all U.S. residents to obtain insurance by March 31.

Health care system experts say glitches in the exchange website have prevented many uninsured patients from registering in plans. Only 934 New Mexicans enrolled in exchange plans between open enrollment start date Oct. 1 and the end of November.

Forney said that the low enrollment, plus force of habit among patients, means wait times for Emergency Room Services should stay stable at Lovelace outside of routine fluctuations. Those Login to read more

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