BISMARCK, N.D. – Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread today presented the Private Health Insurance Market Report for 2014-2018 to the legislative Health Care Committee at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks. The report was compiled to provide North Dakotans with more information about the health insurance market in North Dakota.
“My hope is that by compiling and providing this data, our consumers will have a better understanding of how the health insurance market in North Dakota measures up and what is driving the cost of health care, at least on the insurance side of things,” Godfread said. “The information provided in this report will also serve as a tool for our legislators as they continue to make important decisions about the future of health insurance in North Dakota.”
The report presented by Godfread is part of an ongoing study investigating the rising cost of health care in North Dakota. The Department is also working with health care providers to better understand what is causing the continued increase in health care expenditures in our state. The goal of the landmark study is to better examine the cost of health insurance vs. the true cost of receiving health care.
The Department’s report showed that since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there has been a consistent increase in health insurance claims being made and insurance premium rates being paid. However, the loss ratio, or percentage of incurred losses to earned premiums, has remained steady. This means that most if not all of the dollars consumers pay for insurance are going to cover the costs of insurance claims, leaving little room for administration and other expenses that come with administering health insurance. Despite the rising cost of health insurance, the report also showed that just 7.3% of North Dakotans were uninsured as of 2018. This number is relatively low when compared to other states across the country.
The report may also serve as a reminder that the 2020 Open Enrollment Period is in full swing, running from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15, 2019. Coverage begins on Jan. 1, 2020. To help consumers choose the right coverage for themselves and their families, the Department recommends consumers:
- Start early. With more information gathered, smarter decisions can be made.
- Stay well-informed. The health insurance landscape is evolving rapidly. What is true today may be outdated tomorrow.
- Shop around. What made sense this year may not be the best solution next year, particularly if an employment situation has changed. Take time to shop around and compare prices and plan benefits amongst different insurance companies.
For more information, contact the Department at (701) 328-2440 or visit www.nd.gov/ndins.