Report: N.M. exchange insurance below national average

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A federal report finds that New Mexico's new health insurance marketplace will offer plans costing less than the national average.

Uninsured New Mexicans and small businesses can begin next week to enroll in health plans through the state's health insurance exchange.

The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said New Mexicans will pay an average of $282 a month for a mid-range insurance plan considered a benchmark by the federal government. That's lower than the national average of $328. Those costs are before people apply any tax credits they may be eligible to receive.

Consumers can select from plans with a range of coverage called bronze, silver, gold and platinum. People will pay more out-of-pocket expenses with the least costly or bronze plans.

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