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North Dakota Health Insurance

Affordable health insurance coverage is an inevitable necessity, especially if you are the sole earning member of a family. Health insurance from a private insurer can be expensive; you need to assess your finances and the potential risks associated with your family’s health. Approximately 47 million Americans do not have a proper health insurance in place. Majority of these uninsured people are the working families, who are exposed to the risk of crushing medical bills in the event of an illness or injury. Those families who are not covered by their employer’s group coverage can avail their state-sponsored low-cost health insurance programs.

North Dakota is the 12th healthiest state to live in and receive health care services, according to the United Health Foundation's 2008 Health Rankings. However, the state fell four spots from its 8th position in 2007 and 2006. North Dakota’s health care system is robust, but, the state’s lawmakers need to tackle various issues including increasing public health funding, high prevalence of binge drinking and high geographic disparity within the state. The state of North Dakota, having the population of more than six hundred and twelve thousand residents, offers both private-market and public health insurance alternatives. The private-market health insurance comprises of numerous types of health plans including family, Medicare supplemental, short-term, student, group and dental. Additionally, the state and federal government sponsored programs provide low-priced health coverage to the uninsurable residents of North Dakota who meet specific eligibility requirements.

The North Dakota Insurance Department regulates all types of insurance sold in the state including health insurance policies offered by private-market health insurers or public health coverage programs. However, approximately 11.2% of the population remains uninsured, which is the top priority for the North Dakota government. According to the Censor Bureau’s 2007 and 2008 Current Population Survey, approximately 34.6% of North Dakota residents under the above 200% FPL category continue to live in the state without any kind of health insurance.

Health insurance is important for the security of your health and finances. Therefore, your best interests remain in taking professional help from a licensed health insurance agent/broker to avail the benefits of appropriate health insurance coverage.

Individual/Family Health Insurance

Below is the guidelines for applying for and obtaining individual health insurance in the state of North Dakota. These regulations apply to all insurance companies offering individual or family health insurance in North Dakota:

Medical Underwriting


Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Period

12 months

Look Back Period

6 months

Look Back Standard


Mandatory Benefits

Cancer screening for women including breast cancer screening, reconstructive surgery after mastectomy

Market Rate Restrictions


Guaranteed Issue Options


Small Group Health Insurance

Below is the guidelines for small group health insurance in the state of North Dakota. These regulations apply to all insurance companies offering small group health insurance in North Dakota:

Small Group Size


Employee Qualifications

Two employees must work for at least 6 months out of the year, and work 20 hours per week

Guaranteed Issue


Premium Rating Factors

Rate Bands

Rate Adjustment Factors


Look-Back Period

6 months

Pre-existing condition exclusionary period

12 months

Mandatory Benefits

Same as Individual

State Cobra Variations for Small Groups

Below are the COBRA guidelines for small groups in the state of North Dakota. For employer groups of more than 20 employees, refer to the federal COBRA guidelines:

Mini-Cobra Option


Eligible Group Sizes


Extension of Benefits Period - Standard

39 weeks

Extension of Benefits Period - Disabled

39 weeks

Maximum Premium Increase


State Legislation Reference

Additional Notes

You must apply for the state continuation coverage within 10 days of losing your coverage or from the day you were notified about continuation coverage, whichever is later.

State Sponsored Health Insurance Programs

There are several state sponsored health insurance programs in the State of North Dakota to assist those without insurance in obtaining adequate coverage.

High-Risk Pools

Some states offer special state sponsored health insurance plans for qualified persons that are not eligible for individual health insurance due to pre-existing medical conditions. The guidelines for enrollment in these programs vary by state. The high-risk pool in the State of North Dakota is summarized in the chart below:

Plan Name

Comprehensive Health Association of North Dakota (CHAND)


Phone Number


HIPPA Eligibility Required?


Available Carriers

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota

Pre-Existing Condition Waiting Period

6 months

Enrollment Periods

Annual eligibility review

Premium Limits

No more than 135% of standard rate

Lifetime Maximum Benefit

$1 million

Special Notes

To qualify for the coverage, individuals must be ineligible for health benefits under North Dakota's medical assistance program, COBRA or certain other government programs

Children’s Health Insurance Program

Through shared funding from the federal government, the State of North Dakota provides health insurance for uninsured children that meet certain eligibility guidelines. A summary of this program is outlined in the chart below:

Program Name

Healthy Steps


Phone Number


Apply Online


Age Limits

Under 18

Insurance Carrier

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota

Length of Coverage

12 months

Residency Requirements

North Dakota residents and U.S. citizens, legal immigrants

Other Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, the child should not have any other insurance and should not be eligible for Medicaid

Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions



No monthly premiums are required. However, minimal co-payments include $5 per emergency room visit, $50 per hospitalization, $2 per prescription


Medicaid is a state program partially funded through the federal government. Qualification guidelines, as well as the types of people that are eligible, will vary by state. The chart below provides a summary of the Medicaid programs in the State of North Dakota:

Governing Agency

North Dakota Department of Human Services


Phone Number


Residency Requirements

North Dakota resident

Federal Poverty Line Income Limits

Pregnant women and Children ages 0-5: 133% FPL
Children ages 6-19: 100% FPL
Parents: 38% FPL
Medically Needy Individual: 66% FPL
Medically Needy Couple: 51% FPL

Additional Resources

North Dakota Health Care Options Matrix™ Guide

Provided by the Foundation for Health Coverage Education, the guide is a quick reference guide prepared by the non-profit Foundation for Health Coverage Education that outlines North Dakota’s public and private health care choices for individuals and groups with various demographic profiles.

Family Health Insurance Guide by

The guide created by provides useful information regarding health insurance coverage such as individual/family health insurance, group health insurance, separate child health insurance and state-sponsored programs that are available for low to middle income families.

North Dakota: At-A-Glance

Provides exclusive health data of North Dakota., a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, provides free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data on all 50 states.