New Mexico


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Comprehensive Person-Centered State Work Incentive Initiatives:

A Resource Center for Developing & Implementing Medicaid Buy In Programs
Related Employment Initiatives for Persons with Disabilities

New Mexico

I. Overview of a State's Comprehensive Person-Centered Employment Initiatives

New Mexico has a Medicaid Buy-In program and a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) project

New Mexico also was the recipient of a State Partnership Initiative (SPI) grant from the Social Security Administration administered by the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and which is called Project SUCEED
The link to the Project SUCEED web site is as follows:

Project SUCCEED, administered by the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, enhances employment for SSI/SSDI recipients in New Mexico using a two tier approach. First, at the state level, through an interagency agreement, the project is analyzing local service delivery systems and conducting policy analysis to facilitate the identification and removal of employment disincentives. Secondly, at the local level, the project provides benefits management, job development and job placement at model sites in Albuquerque, Roswell, Carlsbad and Hobbs.

State Medicaid Buy In Program
The Medicaid Buy-In Bill, which will allocate $1.4 million to provide health insurance to people with disabilities who choose to work, was signed into law by Governor Johnson on April 12, 2000. The program is expected to be implemented in Fall 2000.

New - Download file of two summary charts
Chart contents:

State's Medicaid Buy-In Program Design Features
- Income Eligibility Criteria
- Resource Limits and Exclusions
- Cost Sharing - Minimum Income Level and Premium or Cost Share Methods
- Work Related Policies and Protections
State's SSI and Other Medicaid Income Standards for Adults with Disabilities

II. What's New and Persons to Contact

There were 786 enrollees in the New Mexico Medicaid Buy-In program as of March 31, 2003.

The New Mexico Medicaid Buy In program became effective January 1, 2001.
See below to download a copy of the regulations and a brochure explaining the program.

Contact Information

Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) Project Staff
Ivie Vigil
New Mexico Human Services Department
Phone: 505-827-6228

Project SUCCEED - Division of Vocational Rehabilitation- 435 St. Michael’s Dr., Building D, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505. 1-800-318-1469 FAX (505) 954-8562 Program Manager - Darlene (Kelly) Davis, email For information on the newsletter or website, email The SUCCEED state office staff includes a management analyst and rehabilitation technician. The pilot sites of Albuquerque and Roswell (which includes Carlsbad and Hobbs) are each headed by an Employment Services Coordinator. Please contact the pilot sites at: Albuquerque office (505) 841-6431 and Roswell (505) 624-6024.

Fanny Pearce, SUCCEED Management Analyst
Cynthia Del Rio, SUCCEED Community & Social Services Specialist

III. Program Development - Past and Present

  • Executive Branch Leadership, Cross Disability Coalition Leadership and Interagency Working Groups
  • Initial Planning, Information Gathering and Program and Fiscal Estimates

SUCCEED, one of only 12 states funded by the Social Security Administration to assist people with disabilities on benefits to enter or return to the work force, is funded at $660,690 a year for five years. The Program, administered by the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, began in December 1998. Funding for SUCCEED came out of President Clinton's Executive Order on March 13, 1998 establishing a National Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities and designating the Secretary of labor as the chair of this effort. The purpose was to create a coordinated and aggressive national policy to bring working-age individuals with disabilities into gainful employment at a rate approaching that of the general adult population.

The foundation for SUCCEED is a strong partnership, implemented by a cooperative agreement, among the Department of Labor, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Commission for the Blind, Housing and Urban Development and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. SUCCEED and Agency Partners also will recommend policy changes at the state and federal level to improve coordination of services to persons with disabilities.

Extensive data is collected on each participant for comparison to a control group so that a cost/benefit analysis can be completed at the end of the project. SUCCEED by June 13, 2000 has 231 participants at four pilot sites, will serve 500 participants over the five years of the program, 75% who must have a diagnosis of mental illness. Of these participants, it is planned that 10% will leave social security benefits.

SUCCEED is on line with Department of Labor's job bank for service to SUCCEED clients at our Job Resource Center in Albuquerque. We have begun planning of statewide focus groups to be conducted with consumers, employers and community based service providers to identify barriers to employment for persons with disabilities. A survey was developed to get partners and advocates input into the planning of the focus groups. State systems will be analyzed for system gaps in services. The findings will be incorporated with the focus group findings. The creation of a comprehensive plan for identification and removal of employment barriers for individuals with disabilities in New Mexico will be written.

Download Fiscal Estimates Paper Prepared by University of New Mexico/Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

IV. State Legislation - Adopted and Pending

The Medicaid Buy-in Bill, funded at $1.4 million, was signed into New Mexico law in April 2000.


V. Current State Policies and Program Descriptions

  • State Policies: State Plans, Regulations and Waiver Requests to Federal Agencies - Pending and Adopted Programs

    Link to application for New Mexico Medicaid Buy-In program
  • Ensuring Informed Choice and Person - Centered Programs: Benefits Counseling, Work Force Investment Act Implementation and Related Educational Services
  • Descriptions for Consumers and Staff Training Activities

Download a copy of the New Mexico Medicaid Buy In Regulations "Working Disabled Individuals (WDI) - Category 043
or for a direct link to an index of New Mexico Medicaid regulations go to
and click on "WDI - Working Disabled Individuals"

File: Download a copy of the brochure describing the "Working Disabled Individuals" program.

VI. Program Data and Impact

  • Medicaid Buy-In Data

    There were 786 enrollees in the New Mexico Medicaid Buy-In program as of March 31, 2003
  • Customer Surveys and Evaluation Studies


VII. Comprehensive Employment Initiatives

Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy and Center for Health Services Research and Policy at George Washington University

Supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with additional support provided by NIDRR of the US Department of Education through the RRTC on Workforce Investment and Employment Policy at the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center at the University of Iowa. (#H133B980042) 

Website created and maintained by the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center at the University of Iowa College of Law. The opinions and analyses set out in the articles on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the US Department of Education, George Washington University or the University of Iowa.