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Up to 30,000 in ND to Gain Coverage with Medicaid Expansion

PHOTO: Enrollment is under way under the expansion of Medicaid in North Dakota, allowing thousands more low-income residents to access health insurance. CREDIT: Aaron Traffas
PHOTO: Enrollment is under way under the expansion of Medicaid in North Dakota, allowing thousands more low-income residents to access health insurance. CREDIT: Aaron Traffas
December 13, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. – For thousands of low-income North Dakotans, the coming of the New Year also means an opportunity to secure health insurance.

Lawmakers this past session approved an expansion to the state's Medicaid program, and Josh Askvig, associate state director of advocacy for AARP of North Dakota, says enrollment is now under way for those eligible.

"If you have a household income that is equal or below $15,000 for one person and then it tiers on up from there, people now have access,” he explains. “And we think that's exciting and are encouraging people to check it out and see if they're eligible."

It's estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 North Dakotans who previously had not been able to access or afford health insurance will get coverage through the Medicaid expansion.

Having more North Dakotans with health coverage should help with the cost of care and public health overall, Askvig says.

He notes that with no out-of-pocket expenses, more people will go in for regular preventive care.

"They can go in and get the cancer screenings and the diabetes screenings that otherwise they were waiting until it was an emergency and showing up and having to pay for the full-blown treatment on the other end, rather than getting that screened out in the beginning and taking some preventive steps," he points out.

Those eligible can sign up online at the North Dakota Department of Human Services website.

Enrollment is also available over the phone and with paper applications available at any county social service office.


John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND