Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 08:00 am Categories:

BISMARCK, N.D. – Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread today released a comprehensive summary of insurance legislation passed during the 2017 Legislative Session.

“The North Dakota Insurance Department celebrated the successful passing of a good number of bills thanks to the dedicated work of its staff during this legislative session,” Godfread said. “I encourage all North Dakotans to take a moment to review these important bills.”

Senate Bill 2231, regarding the regulation of how insurance companies pay for air ambulance services in North Dakota, was one such bill included in the summary. The bill also requires hospitals to notify patients in non-emergency situations which air ambulance providers have a contractual agreement with the patient’s health insurance company.

The passing of SB 2231 was of critical importance as air ambulance services have become a more frequently used mode of transport for individuals needing medical care. Often these patients are then faced with unexpected and outrageous bills for the full cost of the flight or the balance left after a partial payment is made by the patient’s insurer, a practice known as “balance billing.” Insurance does not cover the cost of an air ambulance when the ambulance provider does not have a contract with the patient’s health plan, even if the patient is one of the 88 percent of North Dakotans who have health insurance.

The informed decision making portion of the bill is effective August 1, 2017, the portion of the bill regulating how health insurance companies pay out-of-network air ambulance claims is effective January 1, 2018.

Legislation passed during the 2017 Legislative Session is effective August 1, 2017, unless otherwise noted. Visit www.nd.gov/ndins/Communications/legislation/ to view the summary of insurance legislation or to view the complete text of all legislative bills, resolutions and journals, visit www.legis.nd.gov.