In the United States, impoverished people have a more challenging time accessing healthcare than those who are financially well off. Medicaid can help reduce this disparity by providing access to health insurance.
Although Medicaid has expanded in recent decades due to federal and state government programs, there are still gaps in coverage within the system. These gaps must be addressed. According to a report from healthinsurance.org, almost 881,681 New Mexico residents were covered by Medicaid as of October 2022.
In order to provide better healthcare for all New Mexicans, there is a need to address these challenges and develop innovative solutions to better provide mental health and addiction treatment services.
Keep reading to learn more about how facilities such as Icarus Behavioral Health are stepping up to help meet this need, and how you or a loved one can find support with their programs.
What Does Medicaid in New Mexico Offer?
Medicaid is a federal-state program that helps with medical costs for people with limited income and resources. The state-run program provides health insurance to low-income families, seniors, people with disabilities, children, and pregnant women.
The federal government pays part of the Medicaid services provided to eligible individuals. States pay for the rest through taxes or other revenue sources.
In New Mexico, there are three main types of Medicaid programs:
- New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX): Provides coverage through private health plans sold on an Affordable Care Act marketplace;
- NM Family Planning Services Program: Covers family planning services only.
- Traditional Medicaid: Covers all other categories, such as long-term care services like nursing homes or home health care.
Seniors in New Mexico (NM) are also eligible for long-term care in Medicaid if they fulfill a few criteria. There are different criteria, and one is an income of under $2,742 per month. This can ensure that low-income people can access healthcare facilities without any hassle for physical and mental health.
Yes, that’s true because various rehab centers in NM accept Medicaid. People can get treatment for all psychological problems, including substance abuse, anxiety, depression, etc. According to Icarus Behavioral Health, rehab center treatment is vital for curing such problems. Without appropriate treatment, these problems can lead to numerous severe consequences, such as legal and financial troubles.
Hence, Medicaid is vital in helping such people get adequate treatment despite low income. All that a person needs to do is search for a center that allows treatment using government insurance for rehab in NM. Once the right center is found, the person can get the required treatment to get sober and start a new life.
The Healthcare Accessibility Problem in New Mexico
New Mexico has a healthcare accessibility problem. This is due to geographical, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in the state. The healthcare facilities are not evenly distributed across the state.
Many are located in urban areas, making it difficult for those who live in rural communities to access these services. Additionally, there are gaps in care coordination programs between providers.
Here are some reasons that make healthcare accessibility a problem in New Mexico:
New Mexico is a large state with many different areas. The state has a large rural population, and its Native American population is one of the largest in the country. This creates many geographical barriers to access healthcare, especially for those living in remote areas of New Mexico. They often lack access to essential services like medical care or transportation.
The state’s geography results in unique challenges when providing adequate care for all residents, including those living on reservations or other tribal lands. In fact, studies show that these populations tend to experience worse health outcomes than non-Native Americans.
This disparity is primarily because they often live far away from hospitals and clinics that offer specialized treatment options. Examples include cardiac surgery or cancer treatment centers.
Traveling to healthcare facilities is also a problem for rural people. According to a study published in the Springer Journal, geographical access by bus is limited compared to car commuting. The racially or socioeconomically disadvantaged population groups are the worst affected.
So, if someone is looking for a rehab center for drug or alcohol addiction, the centers are only accessible in populous counties. For instance, Bernalillo County is the most populous in the US. Hence, locating addiction treatment in Bernalillo County is easier than in other less populous counties.
Racial and Ethnic Disparities
The racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare access, health outcomes, healthcare costs, and quality of care have been well-documented. New Mexico is no exception to this trend; however, these disparities are especially visible in the state’s northern counties along the U.S.-Mexico border. Most New Mexicans living in these areas are Hispanic or Native American with limited English proficiency (LEP).
Several factors contribute to these disparities, including socioeconomic, historical, and systemic barriers. Here are some key points to consider:
- Socioeconomic factors: New Mexico has a diverse population with a significant proportion of individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups, Hispanics, and African Americans. These communities often face socioeconomic challenges such as poverty, lack of health insurance, and limited access to quality education and employment opportunities. These factors can directly impact healthcare access and health outcomes.
- Cultural and language barriers: Language and cultural differences can create communication challenges between patients and healthcare providers. In New Mexico, where most of the population is Spanish-speaking, language barriers can hinder effective healthcare communication and access.
- Historical factors: The historical mistreatment of racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States has created a legacy of mistrust. This history can deter individuals from seeking care or adhering to medical recommendations.
How Does Medicaid Provide Healthcare for New Mexico?
Medicaid helps to ensure that people have access to healthcare. The program covers low-income people, including seniors and people with disabilities. It also helps to ensure that everyone has a choice of providers and the right type of care.
Here are some examples of how Medicaid can help improve accessibility:
- A pregnant woman who needs specialized prenatal care may get it through Medicaid. This allows her to avoid paying out of pocket or delaying treatment until she can afford it later in her pregnancy. This means she won’t have any issues getting proper prenatal care early on, so her baby will be healthy once born.
- New Mexico’s Elderly Waiver Program is another way Medicaid can help. It can help an elderly or disabled who would like assistance paying bills at home or getting around town. This program offers financial assistance for eligible individuals so they don’t need to worry about paying bills on their own anymore. Those costs will now be handled by someone who knows what they’re doing.
Telehealth’s Expansion Into Behavioral Health
Telehealth is a new technology being used to provide healthcare services to patients who cannot travel. It’s a form of telemedicine that uses telecommunications technology (such as video conferencing) for medical purposes. Telehealth allows patients and providers to connect remotely to communicate from different locations.
New Mexico has expanded its use of telehealth services as part of its Medicaid expansion. It allows Medicaid beneficiaries access through mobile devices or computers at home or in their community.
This allows for greater convenience, access, and affordability than traditional office visits. The reason is that there’s no need for transportation costs associated with going out of town for treatment. Instead, it can be done right from home.
Care Coordination Programs
Care coordination programs allow patients to get the care they need by navigating the healthcare system. These programs help patients understand their health issues and how to manage them. That helps them navigate the healthcare system when it comes time for treatment.
Care coordination aims to keep people healthy and out of the hospital. This helps them live their lives free from disease or injury. Suppose someone has a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease. In that case, this is especially important because those conditions require constant monitoring.
The federal and state governments launched several care coordination programs to help citizens. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy recently launched the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies Program. According to the National Public Radio (NPR), more than 760 mothers have used it for medical care.
Get Treatment Options Using Medicaid in New Mexico
Medicaid is an important program that can help improve healthcare accessibility in New Mexico. The state has made significant strides toward improving Medicaid coverage and expanding access to care by implementing its Medicaid program.
However, providers and patients still face many challenges as they navigate this new system together. We hope this article has provided insight into how Medicaid works and why it’s important for everyone involved.
Remember, if you or a loved one are struggling in New Mexico and have a Medicaid policy, reach out to get options at Icarus Behavioral Health as soon as possible.
And stay tuned to MedsNews.com for the latest health news that matters to you, as we regulary post the latest trends and resources from around the United States!