Make Health Care Work for Oregon
Our Health Care Advocate, Jesse, delivers 24,000 petitions from Oregonians calling on Gov. Kitzhaber to hold health insurance companies accountable for waste. Jesse presented the petitions to the Oregon Health Policy Board.
Health Insurance Rate Watch Project
It’s time for health insurers to get serious about lowering the cost of care by cutting waste and focusing on preventive care that gets results —instead of raising deductibles and hiking premiums. OSPIRG’s Health Insurance Rate Watch Project is working to make this a reality.
Together, we’re making a difference. Thanks to an OSPIRG-backed law, the state has held insurance companies accountable for their increases and put more than $155 million back into consumers’ pockets. Highlights include:
- Regence customers saved $12.5 million, or over $200 per person, when the state cut back Regence’s proposed 22.1% increase to 12.8%.
- United HealthCare customers saved $274 per person when the state knocked back their 16.8% proposed increase to 10%.
Our sister organization, OSPIRG Foundation, investigates the biggest rate hike proposals and alerts state officials to areas of waste and concern. OSPIRG then mobilizes the public to encourage Gov. Kitzhaber’s administration to stand up for consumers.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Health care costs too much, delivers too little in return, and is squeezing the budgets of families and small businesses across the state. 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.
Before insurance companies hike rates, they need to demonstrate that they are doing everything they can to keep rates down. State officials need to scrutinize these rate hikes to make sure every red cent is justified — and reject them if they are not. When we’ve brought public pressure to bear on rate increases, we’ve won dramatic savings for consumers.
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