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Medicaid rolls swell in New Mexico amid economic turmoil

June 9, 2020 GMT
Medical personnel test patients including this Albuquerque Police officer at a mobile site for coronavirus testing across the street from Lovelace Hospital on Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020, in Albuquerque, N.M. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)
Medical personnel test patients including this Albuquerque Police officer at a mobile site for coronavirus testing across the street from Lovelace Hospital on Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020, in Albuquerque, N.M. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)
Medical personnel test patients including this Albuquerque Police officer at a mobile site for coronavirus testing across the street from Lovelace Hospital on Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020, in Albuquerque, N.M. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)
Medical personnel test patients including this Albuquerque Police officer at a mobile site for coronavirus testing across the street from Lovelace Hospital on Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020, in Albuquerque, N.M. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)
Medical personnel test patients including this Albuquerque Police officer at a mobile site for coronavirus testing across the street from Lovelace Hospital on Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020, in Albuquerque, N.M. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Santa Fe, N.M. (AP) — Enrollment is rising in Medicaid health care as the coronavirus pandemic reverberates through the economy.

The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance says enrollment in the federally subsidized health care program increased by nearly 10,000 people during the month of May to 853,251 as of June 1.

Agency Program Manager Colin Bailllio says enrollment in February stood at 830,165.

The statistics suggest a shift away from employer-based health insurance and toward Medicaid benefits for residents living in poverty or on the cusp, as unemployment swells.

Economists affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research confirmed Monday that the U.S. economy has entered a recession.

About 40% of New Mexico residents already rely on Medicaid for health care in a state of 2.1 million residents.

Employment in April was down more than 10% from a year ago.