North Dakota health insurance exchange
Early enrollment in North Dakota lowest of all HHS-run exchanges
By Louise Norris
December 1, 2013
In the first month of open enrollment, applications were completed in the North Dakota exchange to cover 1,845 people. Of those, 585 were found to be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, but only 42 people had selected a private health insurance plan and finalized their enrollment by November 2 – the lowest private plan enrollment plan out of the 34 states where HHS is running the exchange. Much of the problem was the technical difficulties with HealthCare.gov, which hindered enrollment efforts all across the country. As of December 1, however, the site is performing much better than it was in October, and many more people are expected to enroll before the December 23 deadline for obtaining a January 1 effective date.
Three insurers are participating in the North Dakota exchange: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Medica and Sanford. Enrollees have an average of 24 plans from which to choose. Prices are slightly higher in the North Dakota exchange than the national average. Health insurance carriers are conducting workshops and outreach sessions to help people learn about their options under the ACA. There are also 17 navigators in ND who are working to educate the public about the policies and subsidies available in the exchange. The state got about $1 million in federal funding to spend on ACA outreach.
Following President Obama’s announcement in November that existing policies could be renewed into 2014 at the discretion of states and carriers, North Dakota’s Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm decided to go along with the president’s policy cancellation “fix” and urged carriers to provide an option to renew some 36,000 individual policies that had been scheduled to terminate at the end of the year. The carriers have not decided yet what course of action they will take on this issue.
The North Dakota House of Representative voted against a state-run health insurance exchange in 2011, and Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s administration reiterated that position in November 2012. But North Dakota is expanding its Medicaid program under a provision of the Affordable Care Act. Dalrymple favors the expansion, and the state House approved the measure in February 2012. About 29,000 uninsured people will be eligible for Medicaid under the expanded guidelines, including childless adults.
About 11 percent of North Dakotans are uninsured, according to Kaiser’s statehealthfacts.org.
North Dakota health insurance exchange links
State Exchange Profile: North Dakota
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of North Dakota’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.
North Dakota Insurance Department
Assists people insured by private health plans, Medicaid, or other plans in resolving problems pertaining to their health coverage; assists uninsured residents with access to care.
(701) 328-2440 / Toll Free: 800-247-0560 / firstname.lastname@example.org