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Albuquerque Business First

Dennis Domrzalski, Reporter- Albuquerque Business First

About five companies have filed to sell insurance on New Mexico’s Health Insurance Exchange, state Insurance Superintendent John Franchini said Friday.

While Franchini didn’t have the names of the insurers, spokespeople from Lovelace Health Plan, Presbyterian Health Plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, New Mexico Health Connections and Molina Healthcare of New Mexico confirmed that their companies had filed with the New Mexico Division of Insurance to sell on the exchange.

The deadline for companies to file was originally April 30, but Franchini said that was extended by three days because of technical glitches in the filing system.

“We have at least five or six that have filed, and we will be attacking this in earnest next week. I’m very impressed that this many have responded this quickly,” Franchini said.

The exchange will be an online marketplace where small businesses and individuals can buy health insurance. It is supposed to begin enrolling people on Oct. 1.

During its first meeting on April 29 and 30, the 13-member board of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange was told meeting that deadline would be impossible.

That means New Mexico would have to partner with the federal exchange at least through 2014, board members were told. And that means individuals who buy on the combined exchange will have to pay a 3.5 percent tax on their premiums, the board was told.

Franchini has said he wants to make the insurers’ proposed plans and prices public on the DOI’s website. He said that could take several weeks.

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