Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced the State will allow insurers to renew existing health insurance plans, regardless of whether the plans comply with the provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act.

The decision will allow insurers to renew existing “non-compliant” insurance plans on or before Oct. 1, 2016, for individuals and for groups with 51 to 100 employees.

 “Despite the promises that were made, the Affordable Care Act is forcing millions of Americans to change health insurance plans, and in some cases to add expensive and unnecessary new coverages,” Gov. Daugaard said.  “I’m very pleased that our state is able to offer some relief from these onerous new federal requirements, especially as many states, including Minnesota, are refusing to allow for this flexibility.”

The State Division of Insurance estimates that the move will affect more than 83,000 people and will save South Dakotans in excess of $70 million over the next two years.