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Published October 23, 2013, 10:36 AM

SD officials: Few details on health care enrollees

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota insurance regulators said Tuesday they don't know a lot about the people signing up for health insurance under the new health care law because the online market is run by the federal government.

By: Associated Press, Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota insurance regulators said Tuesday they don't know a lot about the people signing up for health insurance under the new health care law because the online market is run by the federal government.

Members of the Legislature's Government Operations and Audit Committee asked state insurance officials about the characteristics of the more than two dozen South Dakotans who have signed up for insurance since the online health exchange started operating Oct. 1.

State Insurance Director Merle Scheiber and Melissa Klemann, assistant director of life and health insurance for the state Insurance Division, said they know little about those who have signed up because South Dakota is one of 36 states letting the federal government run its health exchange, where consumers can compare plans and buy insurance.

Rep. Justin Cronin, R-Gettysburg, said he wants to know whether people enrolling had insurance before or are now getting it because the federal government is subsidizing the cost for people with modest incomes.

Klemann said the only way the state could find out that information is if people who sign up report it to their new insurance companies.

Schreiber said many people are calling his office, mostly to report they are having trouble using the online health exchange, which has been plagued by problems nationwide. He said state officials help people as best they can, but federal officials are in charge of the exchange.

Avera Health Plans, Sanford Health Plan and DAKOTACARE, which is associated with the South Dakota State Medical Association, are approved to offer plans in South Dakota.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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