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N.D. and Minn. Health Insurance Costs - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Good and Bad News About Health Insurance Costs in N.D. and Minn.

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  Insurance experts say the Affordable Health Care Act all adds up to good news for Minnesotans and bad news for North Dakotans, when it comes to everyone's  health insurance bill.

Ken Longtin, Longtin Agency: "North Dakota I think they're saying they went up about 14-percent, that's what I'm hearing. In Minnesota, premiums actually went down. Overall, they say Minnesota has some of the lowest individual rates in the nation and we in northwestern Minnesota have some of the lowest rates in the State."

  MnSURE, Minnesota's health care exchange is reporting that it has already met its goal of signing up 136,000 people. And while experts say there are still some glitches in the system, they've now signed up over 400 people in just Polk County, who didn't have health insurance before.

Jaclyn Martin, Polk County Social Services: "We know the exact number of people who haven't signed up. But, I know in Polk County here, we have about 400 new clients that have signed up and are now eligible. So, that's really good."

   Martin and insurance agent, Ken Longtin both say the deadline extension for signup has little effect on what they do.

  However, both say it's going to take some time to sort out the numbers and establish how the Affordable Health Care Act is actually working.

Ken Longtin: "How many young people you're going to have apply? The demographics? It's only a guess. Really, the story will be told in 2015-2016, when some of the data comes in."

   Longtin says, he believes one of the big flaws with the current system, is that it doesn't give everyone a tax credit for their health insurance payments. Only people buying insurance through the government subsidized plans get a tax credit.

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