WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced that the recently-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act will result it an estimated $250 million increase in federal Medicaid funding for New Mexico over a 12-month period to provide added relief to the state, which will face growing costs due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The legislation increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) that determines the amount of funding the federal government provides to state and territorial Medicaid programs. This legislation, which Udall and Heinrich voted to pass this week and was signed into law, will also provide free nation-wide testing for COVID-19 and initial economic relief for the impacts of the pandemic and the associated public health response.
“Across our state, Medicaid empowers nearly 700,000 New Mexicans to stay healthy and see a doctor when they get sick, without the fear of going broke. The current public health and economic crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19 makes access to medical care even more important – we are talking about saving people’s lives,” said Udall. “This $250 million in additional Medicaid funding, part of the Families First Act, will help to make sure those hit hardest during this crisis are not left behind. I will continue to fight for funding and swift action to make sure that New Mexicans have what they need to stay healthy and provide for themselves and their families.”
“The last thing New Mexicans impacted by this public health crisis should be worried about is finding health care coverage,” Heinrich said. “The Families First Coronavirus Response Act included $250 million to ensure the hardworking New Mexico families who rely on Medicaid will continue to get the care they need. We need to ensure New Mexico families who qualify can receive Medicaid coverage for critical and lifesaving health care.”
Medicaid is a state and federal partnership that plays an important role to making sure the many hard-working families, kids, pregnant mothers, and people with disabilities get the care they need. As the state works to combat this virus and the economy remains uncertain, higher utilization and increased Medicaid enrollment is expected. This important increase to federal funding is an important step toward helping New Mexico free up state resources to effectively support our communities as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is the second “phase” of coronavirus response passed by Congress. In addition to voting for this week’s bill, Udall and Heinrich voted for the first measure – an $8.3 billion supplemental appropriations bill – and are working with Senate Democratic leadership to help craft a third, larger economic and public health response proposal.