Bismarck, ND - Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm released figures today reporting $8,904,116 recovered or saved for North Dakota citizens in 2007. This represents an increase of 52 percent from 2006.
This amount represents dollars recovered on behalf of North Dakotans through the Department's Hotline as well as through complaints filed by consumers against insurance companies, agents and through investigations carried forward by the Department. It also includes benefits received through the State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) Program and the Prescription Connection for North Dakota (PC4ND) Program.
"I am pleased we provide the type of quality services which assist our citizens in complex and often challenging situations," said Hamm. "Often, this is a savings or recovery that would be difficult for them to achieve on their own."
In 2007, the Insurance Department received and made over 10,000 phone calls; helped 183 "walk-in" clients, and processed 233 formal complaints. It also handled over 9,400 SHIC contacts and over 3,800 PC4ND contacts.
"I am particularly proud of the increased effort put forth in our programs that assist the elderly with health care decisions and low income North Dakotans with finding affordable medicine," Hamm said, referring to SHIC and PC4ND.
Of the $8.9 million, almost $4.9 million was provided as a result of SHIC and PC4ND. Since 2006, SHIC and PC4ND contacts have grown by 49 percent and 40 percent respectively. Hamm attributes the growth to the need for assistance with the Medicare Part D program and the growing need for financial assistance for prescription purchases.
Hamm encourages any consumers with questions on insurance to contact the North Dakota Insurance Department's Hotline at 1-800-247-0560 or go to its web site at www.nd.gov/ndins.
The State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) program is funded through a grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It assists North Dakota's elderly and disabled with insurance issues and options. It is staffed at the North Dakota Insurance Department and utilizes a statewide network of trained volunteers.
Prescription Connection for North Dakota (PC4ND) is a program of the North Dakota Insurance Department that connects qualified low income people with free or discounted drugs direct from pharmaceutical manufacturers.