Carolyn Ingram

New Mexico

Director (2003-2010)


Ms. Ingram served as the director of New Mexico’s Medicaid program from 2003 to 2010. As director, Ms. Ingram supervised multiple health insurance programs that provided a full range of physical and behavioral health services to low- and middle-income New Mexicans. During her years managing and leading the state’s Medicaid program, Ms. Ingram made multiple program improvements that resulted in increased utilization of services, greater quality of care, and additional health coverage options for the uninsured; while at the same containing program costs and ensuring fiscal accountability to the people of New Mexico. Through her leadership, Ms. Ingram helped transform the program into the leading financier of health care services in the state, and a dominating component of New Mexico’s overall health care delivery system. 

Ms. Ingram has been instrumental in bettering the lives of especially at-risk populations and the uninsured. She has placed a strong emphasis on school-based health care and on implementing best practices for the delivery of services to children and adolescents, particularly for obesity, type-2 diabetes, asthma and depression. She has overseen the implementation and expansion of statewide telehealth programs to serve rural regions of the state that have limited access to health care. In 2005, she implemented the New Mexico State Coverage Insurance (SCI) program for uninsured adults who do not qualify for traditional Medicaid coverage. And in 2007, she directed the implementation of two state-funded premium assistance programs for uninsured children and pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid but who cannot afford to pay the premiums for commercial coverage. One of her most recent initiatives has been to implement an innovative program for Coordinated Medicaid Long-Term Services (CoLTS), which provides long-term care to beneficiaries under the umbrella of a seamless, coordinated and integrated program.

Prior to her position as Medicaid Director, Ms. Ingram was a Senior Manager with the Lewin Group in Washington, DC, where she consulted with other states on the development and implementation of major Medicaid and health policy initiatives, including Medicaid waiver programs for uninsured adults and behavioral health services, small employer insurance pools, performance incentive programs, and service delivery redesigns. Ms. Ingram has also held several key management positions within the New Mexico Medicaid program during her career in public service, including leadership of the state’s Medicaid managed care program during its inception. 

Ms. Ingram currently serves as Vice-Chair to the National Association of Medicaid Directors, and holds a position on the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool Board of Directors. She has been invited to participate in multiple national work groups and committees addressing health care and health reform issues. Ms. Ingram was recently awarded for her innovative work supporting school-based health care under the Medicaid program.

Ms. Ingram holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound and is currently pursuing a master's degree.

Leadership Project

Goal: Restructure New Mexico’s Medicaid program to insure more New Mexicans at an affordable cost. 
Carolyn Ingram is seeking federal approval of an 1115 waiver to restructure current Medicaid benefits. It would create a new limited benefit buy-in package for those not currently eligible for Medicaid or other subsidized coverage options (i.e., State Coverage Insurance and a high-risk pool). With her senior staff, technical assistance from CHCS, and consulting services from the Hilltop Institute, Ms. Ingram identified numerous benefit design options that would make the benefit package for mandatory populations more consistent with other state Medicaid programs. It would also free up resources to create a limited set of benefits for uninsured childless adults. Throughout the process, Ms. Ingram has engaged the public, tribal leaders, and state policymakers in discussions about the various benefit design options, possible cost-sharing arrangements, and a plan to offer additional optional benefits (e.g., vision and dental) to the basic benefit packages. She is currently working with senior staff to incorporate opportunities available through health reform into the new benefit design package. She is also striving to ensure consistency and continuity with the new insurance exchanges and federal premium subsidies for low-income individuals purchasing coverage through an exchange.