NM Law Regulates Health Insurance

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson has signed into law a bill to limit how much health insurance companies spend on administrative costs.

Under the new law, insurers must use at least 85 percent of their premium revenues to pay for direct health care services provided to consumers. Richardson has advocated the change for several years as part of a health care reform initiative.

The governor signed the bill into law on Tuesday along with a measure to stop insurance companies from using gender as a factor in setting rates for medical coverage.

Supporters say the new law will prevent discrimination against women in the pricing of insurance. New Mexico currently allows insurance companies to charge women up to 20 percent more than men.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.