Focus group research conducted in North Dakota revealed cost as the top reason people forego buying health insurance, similar to national research findings. But the research also revealed low awareness of the lower cost options available but seldom purchased. In response to these findings Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) developed and added AffordaBlue to the single coverage plans available for North Dakotans between ages 19 and 64, plus it has made it easier to obtain a quote for individual health insurance.
"Our research showed the need for a very low monthly premium option with a higher deductible, but also very low understanding of some of the choices that already existed," explains Judd Wagner, BCBSND's chief marketing officer. "AffordaBlue adds a lower premium option to the choices available for individuals in North Dakota."
BCBSND originally developed AffordaBlue with the often-uninsured, young and single individual in mind. However, just as the low price may come as a surprise to many North Dakotans, the age of new enrollees has been surprising to BCBSND, according to Wagner. AffordaBlue customers represent all ages, not just young adults. Available across the state, the plan's monthly premiums start at $36.20 a month for eligible individuals, with premiums determined by age and the deductible level.*
"AffordaBlue is to health insurance what liability is to car insurance," said Wagner in explaining the new product. "The coverage is enough to help cover the larger, more immediate problems, such as a broken leg or appendicitis. For a small monthly premium, you can protect against the high bills associated with major health predicaments."
*Coverage is subject to approval and acceptance of application by BCBSND. Premium listed above is available to individuals 19 to 24 years old with a seventy-five hundred dollar deductible who are medically eligible.