- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 8, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Insurance Department is seeking a consultant to help find answers to reforming the state’s individual health care markets.

Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread says health care reform has stalled in Congress and consumers are facing increased costs and fewer options.

Godfread says the agency wants to study options to help bring the costs down. He says many farmers, ranchers and small business owners in North Dakota can’t afford health insurance at present.

The cost of the study is estimated at $200,000. Godfread says several consultants already have submitted proposals ahead of the May 31 deadline.

Godfread says Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only insurer offering statewide coverage on the federal Affordable Care Act exchange. Sanford Health Plan offers coverage only in the Fargo and Bismarck areas.

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