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ND insurance commissioner cautions about short-term insurance plans

FARGO — Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread issued a bulletin on Wednesday, Sept. 19 to North Dakota health insurance companies and agents outlining regulations for the marketing and sale of short-term, limited duration insurance policies. The bulletin is in response to White House administration's adoption of the final rule regarding short-term, limited duration health insurance on Aug. 3, which allowed these plans to become more readily available to consumers in the marketplace.

Godfread warns consumers that short-term limited duration insurance policies are not comprehensive major medical plans and typically have fewer benefits and less overall coverage than traditional health insurance. The plans are designed to provide coverage for a limited time between health insurance policies. For example, the plan may be suitable for a college student taking a semester of school off or an individual between jobs. State law limits the duration of these plans to 185 days. This bulletin allows for one renewal of each plan.

The bulletin also requires that companies who wish to offer short-term, limited duration plans:

• File their new plans and refile any of their existing plans with the department.

• Provide additional disclosures to consumers regarding the type of plan they are purchasing and refine the policy application to ensure consumers are aware of the limitations of the product.

• Ensure that their plans are only available from appointed and licensed insurance agents.

For more information, contact the department at 701-328-2440 or visit www.nd.gov/ndins.

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