BISMARCK, N.D. — About 1,500 North Dakotans signed up for private insurance under the federal health care law in January, and the state no longer has the lowest total in the nation.
Including people enrolling for Medicaid, North Dakota's total enrollment is close to 7,000. That pushes North Dakota ahead of South Dakota and Wyoming, which have about 5,000 and 5,300 signups, respectively, The Bismarck Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1gGQaJZ ).
People can compare coverage and prices and select health plans through the marketplace, but it was plagued by problems after going online last Oct. 1. Problems have eased, and enrollment numbers are steadily increasing, even in more conservative states, said Diane Domke, deputy regional administrator for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota — the state's largest insurer — has the most signups, with more than 2,000 people enrolled through the marketplace as of Jan. 31. Sanford Health Plan and Medica each have several hundred signups.
People can compare coverage and prices and select health plans through the marketplace. The open enrollment period ends March 31. Uninsured people who don't sign up for a plan will face tax penalties when they file their returns for the 2014 tax year.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com