- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - More than 16,000 North Dakota residents have signed up for subsidized private health insurance this year under President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Federal health officials say the sign-ups represent consumers who enrolled in a plan and followed through by paying their first month’s premiums. The numbers cover the healthcare.gov enrollment period through March 31.

Officials in early March reported that about 18,000 North Dakota residents had selected a plan, but not all ended up paying for their coverage.

A federal report shows that 87 percent of North Dakota consumers who paid premiums received financial assistance, which averaged $232.

The figures come as the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing the legality of subsidies for consumers in more than 30 states, including South Dakota. A decision is expected around late June.

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