NEW MEXICO — New Mexico applicants to get Medicaid have a higher unemployment and long-term unemployment rate than those who applied for private insurance through the state’s insurance exchange, according to an analysis released Wednesday.
The analysis of applications for the state-run marketplace, which is now closed, found that nearly a third of applicants who applied under the state exchange and who got Medicaid have an unemployment rate of more than 5.5 percent, compared with less than 3 percent for those who did not get Medicaid.
“The data from the state has shown that many New Mexicans do not have enough insurance coverage to get health care coverage,” said the analysis from the New Mexico Policy Institute, which has been tracking Medicaid expansion applications.
“The fact that so many people are not getting health insurance is a real challenge for people with low incomes.”
The institute said it had also been unable to determine how many New Mexico residents are uninsured.
The state has been struggling to find enough qualified applicants for the new Medicaid program, which was created last year to help low-income people get insurance for the first time.
The state has not yet made it clear how many of those applicants are getting Medicaid, but the institute said the number could be as high as 5.6 million people.
An estimated 16 million New Mexicans are eligible for Medicaid, the report said.