About Medicaid



Medicaid provides healthcare coverage to low-income children and adults in New Mexico, covering 1 out of every 4 people in our state. Medicaid gives many of our families a stable source of free or low-cost health insurance, and provides for the long-term care needs of seniors and people with disabilities. Medicaid also helps create jobs and boosts our economy — for every $3 that the state spends on Medicaid, we receive at least $7 in federal matching funds. These federal dollars support over 50,000 healthcare jobs in New Mexico, and generate over $4.5 billion in economic activity each year. Learn more about Medicaid through our “Medicaid Matters” infographic.



To get healthcare coverage through Medicaid, a person must:

  • Be a child, pregnant, senior, person with disability, very low-income parent, seeking family planning services, or seeking treatment for breast or cervical cancer.
  • Meet income rules. These rules are different for each Medicaid category. For example, children may be qualified if their household income is less than 300% of the poverty level, whereas parents only qualify if they make less than 85% of the poverty level (and actually less than 30% of the poverty level in most cases). See this chart to determine whether you might qualify for Medicaid based on your household income.
  • Be a citizen or a qualified immigrant. Medicaid does not cover undocumented immigrants except in limited emergency circumstances, such as for childbirth. Children who are citizens can always get Medicaid regardless of the immigration status of their parents. Learn more about immigrant eligibility for Medicaid and other healthcare resources by reviewing this webpage about healthcare resources for immigrants.
  • Note that you can now use the state’s YES-NM online screening tool to see if you may be eligible for Medicaid and other public benefits such as food stamps or cash assistance.

People who are not qualified for Medicaid now may be able to get coverage through the program starting on January 1, 2014.

Right now, many low-income adults cannot access Medicaid because they don’t have a qualifying condition (such as being a child, pregnant, or having a disability). As a result, many New Mexicans remain uninsured, including parents, low-wage workers, the recently jobless, veterans and homeless individuals. However, that could change in 2014 if New Mexico takes up an incredible new opportunity under healthcare reform – to provide Medicaid to most low-income adults in our state. This could provide coverage to over 170,000 uninsured people. Click here to learn more about the Medicaid opportunity and to help support efforts to ensure that our state’s leaders say yes to healthcare for low-income New Mexicans!



Please use this checklist to determine if you meet the qualifications for Medicaid and that describes the process step-by-step for completing a Medicaid application. For more information about your rights when applying for any public benefits program, please also review the Center’s “Know Your Rights” booklet in English or Spanish.



The Center provides trainings and presentations upon request about:

  • Your Rights When Applying for Medicaid and Other Public Benefits
  • Medicaid and Healthcare Reform
  • Immigrant Access to Medicaid and Other Healthcare Resources
  • Current Issues with Medicaid in New Mexico

Please contact us at (505) 255-2840 if you would like to set up one of these trainings or presentations, or email info@nmpovertylaw.org. We provide trainings in English or Spanish to groups of 10 or more people, and can customize our talks for community members, advocates, healthcare providers, community health workers, policymakers, and others.