BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A look at North Dakota's health care system and how the federal health insurance law could affect the state:
How many people are uninsured in North Dakota?
About 83,000 people, or 13 percent of North Dakota's population, didn't have health insurance in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Affordable Care Act seeks to reduce the number of uninsured by providing government subsidies to some workers who can't afford insurance and by requiring people with higher incomes to get health insurance through online marketplaces, called exchanges, where people and businesses can shop among competing plans. The federal government is also pushing states to expand their Medicaid programs, which provide health care for the poor, but the expansion is optional.
What is North Dakota doing about a health insurance exchange?
The Legislature in 2011 voted not to set up a state exchange, but instead let the federal government do the job. However, lawmakers and Gov. Jack Dalrymple have said the state might be interested in a partnership with the federal government, an arrangement that would allow some state management of the system.
What is North Dakota doing about expanding Medicaid?
North Dakota's Medicaid program now covers about 65,000 people a month. The state Department of Human Services estimates the proposed expansion would add another 30,000 people. North Dakota officials are now considering the expansion. Under the new Affordable Care Act, the federal government would cover the full cost of expanding Medicaid through 2016, with the state's contribution rising in stages to 10 percent.