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Short-term insurances plans typically have fewer benefits and less overall coverage than traditional health insurance, North Dakota's Insurance Commissioner cautioned consumers on Wednesday.

Commissioner Jon Godfread issued a bulletin "to ensure that companies and agents who are offering these plans have an open and honest discussion with consumers prior to the consumer making a purchase" after the Trump Administration expanded the availability of short-term insurance.

“Short-term, limited duration plans are not for everyone but have become more attractive to consumers who have essentially been priced out of the ACA marketplace,” Godfread said in a statement. “It’s important that individuals understand that these plans are not comprehensive major medical plans."

Godfread noted these plans are designed to provide coverage for a limited time between health insurance policies, such as for an individual between jobs. State law limits the duration of these plans to 185 days.

Companies who wish to offer short-term plans must file plans with the Insurance Department, provide additional disclosures to consumers and ensure plans are only available from licensed insurance agents.

“We expect to see increased marketing for short-term, limited duration plans and an increased number of companies offering these products in North Dakota in the near future,” Godfread said. "There are plenty of good actors in the marketplace who are reputable and will offer these products appropriately, but there are also many bad actors that are looking to take advantage of consumers as they explore their health insurance options."

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Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com

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Business Reporter