I have an article up at WatchDog.org today about Obamacare enrollments in North Dakota. Put simply, there just aren’t a lot of people signing up.
In January, just 1,433 residents of North Dakotaselected a health insurance plan throughHealthCare.gov, according to a reportfrom the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, released Feb. 12.
According to a previous HHS report, from the Oct. 1 launch of the federal health insurance exchange through Dec. 2, 624 North Dakota selected a policy, bringing the total through the end of January to 4,696.
That makes North Dakota the state with the fewest number of enrollments through the federal exchange in the nation. Hawaii has the fewest at 3,614.
And that’s despite both aggressive forecasts for signups – we were told that a lot of people in North Dakota needed this coverage – and tens of thousands of North Dakotans with individual insurance policies (including this one) losing their coverage:
The slow growth in enrollments comes after forecasts for aggressive enrollment in the state. The Obama administration estimated that nearly 70,000 in North Dakota were uninsured before the Affordable Care Act passing, and state officials estimated theMedicaid expansion alone would attract 30,000 new sign-ups.
The Bismarck Tribune reports there have been 3,109 enrollments in the expansion, according to state Department of Human Services officials. …
According to the North Dakota Insurance Department, 35,585 North Dakotans were pushed off their existing insurance policies thanks to the federal health insurance policy changes, a number amounting to roughly 80 percent of the individual insurance marketplace.
After President Obama announced that those policies could continue to be sold on a temporary basis, some insurance companies opted to keep them active, but Blue Cross Blue Shield, which accounts for more than 31,000 of them, didn’t take the president up on his offer.
You would think, given the number of uninsured we were told North Dakota has and the number of people we were told would flock to the Medicaid expansion and the number of people who saw their existing insurance policies disappear, that North Dakota would have something more than several thousand enrollments at this point.
Maybe, just maybe, the insurance problem wasn’t as bad as proponents of Obamacare and other government interventions into the insurance markets said it was.