ND Obamacare enrollment falls way short of expectations


By Rob Port | Watchdog.org North Dakota Bureau

EFFECTUATED POLICIES: A report complied by North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm’s office shows just over 3,700 policies effectuated through the Obamacare exchange by North Dakotans as of April 1st. Table courtesy of Commissioner Hamm’s office.

BISMARCK, N.D. — The national deadline for enrollment in Obamacare has come and gone, and North Dakota officials are now awaiting word on the final state tally. But according to a count reported to state Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm’s office, the numbers are not anywhere close to what was predicted.

As of April 1, insurance companies offering policies through the federal exchange in North Dakota combined for 3,707 effectuated policies covering 6,110 lives.

These numbers for all three companies fall far short of expectations. The Obama administration has estimated 68,403 people in North Dakota were uninsured and eligible for enrollment through the exchange. Hamm’s office reported previously that 35,585 North Dakotans were pushed off their existing individual insurance plans by Obamacare last year.

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota had 2,495 effectuated policies covering 4,338 lives
  • Medica had 672 effectuated policies covering 868 lives
  • Sanford had 540 effectuated policies covering 904 lives

The numbers for effectuated policies and covered lives for Medica are lower in this report from Hamm’s office, compared to a report prepared by the commissioner last month for the Legislature. In the previous report, Medica claimed 906 effectuated policies covering 1,202 lives.

“Medica recently told us they were incorrectly adding their numbers in previous reports to the Department,” Deputy Insurance Commissioner Rebecca Ternes told Watchdog.org via email.

An effectuated policy is one that has been both selected and paid for. Nationally, the Obama administration has reported that as many as 7.5 million policies have been selected through the Obamacare exchanges, but it has refused to say how many of those policies have been effectuated.

Hamm’s office has been tracking effectuated policies for North Dakota. While no federal numbers are available for comparison in April, in March just more than half of the 5,238 selected policies reported by the federal government had been effectuated.

Nationally, estimates have suggested that 15 percent to 20 percent of policies have not been effectuated.

You can reach Rob Port at rport@watchdog.org