Obamacare Has Done Little To Expand Health Insurance Coverage In North Dakota

Back before Obamacare was the law, the Obama administration claimed that some 70,000 North Dakotans were without health insurance. When the Obamacare law’s expansion of the state Medicaid program was being debated in the Legislature last year, it was estimated that the expansion would attract some 30,000 new enrollees.

The reality of Obamacare’s impact in the state has been dramatically different.

As of July 6, 9,953 North Dakota residents were covered by private insurance plans obtained through the federal marketplace, up from 8,374 reported at the committee’s last meeting May 14, according to Insurance Department figures,” Mike Nowatzki reported for the Grand Forks Herald today based on numbers from the North Dakota Insurance Department.

According to Nowtazki’s article, the number of people covered by health insurance in North Dakota increased by 10.54 percent from July 1st, 2009, to July 1st, 2014. That might be an impressive number, until you realize that the state’s population increased 8.78 percent from 2009 to 2013.

That’s based on Census numbers which most in North Dakota believe to be lowballing the state’s true population due to rapid growth from the oil boom. Plus, that rate increase doesn’t include any population growth from 2014.

So, really, Obamacare hasn’t increased the number of insured in North Dakota in any meaningful way. Despite the aforementioned forecasts of tens of thousands of people who would gain coverage.

That’s a bitter pill to swallow given the chaos Obamacare caused many North Dakotans in terms of premium increases and, for those of us in the individual insurance marketplace, lost policies.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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