Two Bills to Protect Ill and Vulnerable New Mexicans Signed into Law

Two Bills to Protect Ill and Vulnerable New Mexicans Signed into Law

Santa Fe, NM – Tonight, two bills with bipartisan support from the House and Senate were signed by Governor Martinez and will now become law.

Senate Bill 11 will improve “step therapy” – the practice used by insurance companies to cut costs by requiring patients to try more affordable treatment options before more expensive ones. The bill was sponsored by Rep.  Elizabeth "Liz" Thomson (D-Albuquerque), Sen. Gay G. Kernan (R-Hobbs), Sen. Elizabeth "Liz" Stefanics (D-Cerrillos), and Rep. Monica Youngblood (R-Albuquerque). Current “step therapy” practices may leave patients suffering through less effective treatments or even worsening their conditions by delaying efficient treatment. This bill allows patients and doctors to appeal “step therapy” practices to opt for more effective treatment options.

“I am so pleased to have the support from the Governor on this legislation. Patients need the best, most effective care possible, and the current “step therapy” model imposed by insurance companies doesn’t always put the patient first and caters to the needs of insurance companies, rather than the patient. This law fixes that and will have a lasting impact on the quality of healthcare for New Mexicans,” said Rep. Liz Thomson.

Senate Bill 19, as amended, is a first step in reforming guardianship laws in New Mexico to provide more transparency and safeguards for protected persons and their families. The bill was sponsored by Senator James White (R-Albuquerque), Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Albuquerque), and Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Albuquerque). The bill makes information more accessible to family members of the protected person, ensures visitation is not solely determined by the guardian, includes court oversight over finances, and expands the circle of people, such as family and caregivers, who may participate and receive notice in court proceedings involving the protected person.

“Families and their loved ones across New Mexico deserve to be treated with respect in a transparent system that is designed to protect our most vulnerable adults.  With this legislation, we are taking critical steps to reforming the guardianship system, to help people when they are most in need,” said Rep. Gail Chasey.  

These two historic bills are pivotal in protecting New Mexicans and will help our families and communities stay healthy and safe for generations to come.