ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on premium taxes owed by health insurers in New Mexico (all times local):
The New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance says there is a process outlined by state statute that detail how it must go about recovering any premium taxes owed by health insurers operating in the state.
Agency spokeswoman Heather Widler said Thursday that the office has a responsibility to uphold that process and that insurance companies have a right to due process.
Her comments were prompted by a letter from state Attorney General Hector Balderas, in which he asks that the collection of any taxes due to the state be quick and transparent.
Balderas also asked for an accounting of what is owed.
State insurance officials say that per statute, the account reconciliation amounts and each associated company’s details must remain confidential until the cases are finalized.
Widler said the office is committed to collecting the payments.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is putting more pressure on state insurance regulators to collect millions of dollars in unpaid premium taxes from health insurance providers operating in the state.
Balderas in a letter sent Wednesday to Insurance Superintendent John Franchini asked for an accounting of what is owned by each company and what the procedure will be for collecting the money.
The letter follows Balderas’ announcement of an $18.5 million settlement with Presbyterian Health Plan to resolve claims of unpaid taxes that dated back more than a decade.
A recent state-commissioned audit found tax underpayments of $65 million by a long list of companies since 2003.
Balderas says the money should be collected in a quick and transparent manner.
Franchini’s office has yet to respond to Balderas’ request.