Health insurance companies could be lowering costs by cutting administrative bloat, driving a hard bargain with hospitals on prices, paying doctors to keep people healthy rather than to order expensive treatments, and passing on those savings to customers. But too often, they just keep raising rates on their customers without doing these things.
Thankfully, state officials, led by the Oregon Insurance Division, have significantly stepped up their scrutiny of health insurers’ rate hike requests. Since 2010, it made cuts to a majority of requests, putting over $37 million back into consumers’ pockets. Highlights include:
- Regence BlueCross BlueShield customers saved $12.5 million, or over $200 per person, when the state knocked back their 22% proposed increase nearly in half.
- United HealthCare customers saved $274 per person when the state knocked back their 16.8% proposed increase to 10%.
OSPIRG’s Health Insurance Rate Watch Project is doing our part by conducting in-depth analysis of insurers' rate hike requests, sharing our findings with state officials and the general public, and encouraging the public to participate in Oregon’s rate review process.
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