February 27, 2023

STI prevention bill heads to House

The New Mexico State Capitol, or Roundhouse Wikicommons.

The Senate passed a bill to help prevent and reduce sexually transmitted iInfections on Monday on a 26-13 vote.

SB 132, STI Prevention and Treatment, was amended by the bill’s sponsor, Senate Pro Tem Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, to clean up bill language to ensure that individuals who have insurance and receive plan sharing before meeting their deductible. The amendment passed unanimously by voice vote.

The bill will, if enacted, eliminate copays for STI screenings and treatment. Stewart said there has been an increase both statewide and nationally in sexually transmitted infection.  By eliminating co-pays, Stewart said more people are likely to get tested and get treatment.

State Sen. Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque, asked if testing labs would still be able to bill the patient for testing if the patent is uninsured.

Stewart said that the bill only addresses co-pays for those who have insurance.

State Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, said this bill is “a place to start,” and said it would be good at some point to “to make sure the uninsured get a similar benefit.”

The bill now heads to the House.