Alice T. Kane, New Mexico superintendent of insurance, has issued an emergency order requiring commercial health insurers to expand access to behavioral health service.

The order, made in response to the New Mexico Department of Health public health emergency, requires major medical insurers to cover out-of-network behavioral health services at a cost comparable to in-network services. This includes services from a primary care physician, specialist visits or inpatient hospital stays. In-network behavioral health services will continue to be provided with no out-of-pocket costs pursuant to a 2021 bill.

“The effects of untreated substance use disorders and behavioral health conditions have been devastating to the people of New Mexico,” said Kane. “My office is committed to reducing barriers to vital care and doing everything we can to improve timely access to critical behavioral health care services.”

Kane’s order, effective Sept. 19, applies to all fully insured individual, small and large-group health plns, including those sold through beWellnm. Verification can be made by checking for the OSI Managed Health Care Bureau (MHCB) on the back of their insurance card.

For more information, contact Viara Ianakieva, Life & Health Division director, at [email protected].