Friday, October 6, 2017 - 08:00 am Categories:
Health Insurance

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Insurance Department today announced the approved health insurance premium rates for Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant individual and group plans to be offered in North Dakota beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

“When reviewing the rates submitted by North Dakota health insurance companies, it was evident that the heavy burdens created by Obamacare are continuing to force rates to significantly increase as time goes on,” Godfread said. “However, we are fortunate in North Dakota to have competition in our individual and group markets giving our consumers the opportunity to shop around. As open enrollment periods for 2018 approach, it is important for North Dakotans to shop amongst the three health insurance companies selling in our state to make sure they find health insurance that fits their needs at the best price. I will continue to advocate for long term solutions that lower the cost of coverage and increase competition in North Dakota’s health insurance marketplace.”


Carrier Information  2018 Rate Information
Company Name Group/Individual Average Increases
Noridian/BCBS Small Group 11.8%
Sanford Health Plan Small Group 2.3%
Medica Health Plan Small Group 6.2%
Medica Insurance Company Small Group 8.8%
Noridian/BCBS Individual 22.6%
Sanford Health Plan Individual 7.9%
*Medica Health Plan Individual 18.8%


*Medica Health Plan will not be selling on the Federal Exchange, meaning consumers who qualify for a subsidy through will not be able to purchase a Medica policy using a subsidy. Consumers may still purchase a Medica policy outside of the Federal Exchange (for example, through an insurance agent), but would not receive any subsidy to assist in the purchase of the insurance.

Depending upon the plan, health insurance rates will increase by an average range of 2.3-11.8 percent for approximately 30,000 North Dakotans enrolled in an ACA-compliant small group plan. Rates will increase by an average range of 7.9- 22.6 percent for approximately 42,000 North Dakotans enrolled in ACA-complaint individual plans. Approximately 84 percent of North Dakotans are covered by health insurance plans offered through employers that self-insure, participate in “grandfathered” plans purchased before March 2010 or receive benefits from government plans (such as Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare or federal employee plans). Today’s announcement will not affect the rates for these consumers.

A company requesting a rate increase must provide information satisfactory to the Department justifying the level of the requested increase. The Department reviews a number of factors that affect the overall increase in the cost to provide health care services, including:

  • Increased use and cost of services to consumers
  • Benefit changes 
  • Administrative expenses for the companies
  • Government mandates, benefits and other legislative changes
  • Increased costs due to federal health care reform

The Department also reviews historical (actual) experience to date, including previous rate increase request amounts, frequency and results. After carefully reviewing all the submitted information, the Commissioner can approve the requested amount, offer a lower increase or deny the request. The entire process of reviewing, analyzing and making a decision on rate increase requests typically takes the Department two months.

The 2018 open enrollment period runs from Nov. 1, 2017 through Dec. 15, 2017. North Dakotans are encouraged to use this time to compare rates and sign up for new plans or renew existing plans during this period.