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Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread

Legislation signed by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum will help lower health insurance costs, Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread said Monday.

House Bill 1106 proposes to create a process in which enrollees remain in the individual market with their current plan and carrier, while a portion of their claims are reimbursed by a "reinsurance pool," according to a news release. The pool would be funded by federal funds and assessments imposed on insurance companies on the state's market.

A study the department conducted last year showed such a proposal would reduce premiums and "provide a low-cost alternative for healthier individuals," Godfread's office said. That would result in more people with health insurance and stabilize the individual market.

The department will finalize a waiver under the Affordable Care Act and seek approval from the federal government to implement the reinsurance program.

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