BISMARCK — North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread has announced health insurance premium rate increases for 2022.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 was another turbulent year that underscores the importance of maintaining "affordable, comprehensive and accessible health insurance," Godfread said. "Our insurance industry has continued to support the fluctuating nature of a pandemic. Maintaining a robust insurance marketplace that provides our consumers with options is of critical importance to North Dakota."

In the individual market for plans sold on the federal government's health insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov, rate changes ranged from a decrease of 1.9% for some Sanford Health Plan coverage to an approved increase of 13.94% for some Medica Health Plan coverage.

In the small group market, approved rate changes ranged from a decrease of 2.88% for some Sanford Health Plan coverage to an increase of 14.19% for some Medica coverage.

Health Partners is new to the small group market for 2022. Consumers can begin researching their options at any time. Increased subsidies mean premiums might be more affordable, depending on qualifications.

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Those covered on the exchange who do not choose a plan for 2022 will be automatically enrolled in the same plan for 2022. Besides obtaining coverage on HealthCare.gov, consumers also can purchase coverage through a licensed insurance agent.