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. 

Issue updates

Media Hit | Health Care

Teaching Students about Health Insurance

EUGENE, Ore. — Now that people in Oregon have more choices when it comes to health insurance, one group at the University of Oregon is working to inform students about all of their options when it comes to health insurance.

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Resource | Health Care

SO YOU NEED HEALTH INSURANCE? NOW WHAT?

Summary

Having the facts can make all the difference when it comes to health insurance. To make the most of new choices, protections and financial help, you need good information. This guide can help you find quality coverage that won’t break the bank.

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Media Hit | Health Care

REGENCE BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD DEFENDS PROPOSED RATE HIKE AT SALEM HEARING

Escalating medical and prescription drug costs have given Regence BlueCross BlueShield executives little choice but to raise rates an average 9.6 percent for people who buy their own insurance, an executive told Oregon insurance regulators Monday.

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Media Hit | Health Care

REGENCE REDUCES PAYMENTS TO HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

July 26, 2012 -- Physicians and other healthcare professionals are being hit with a rate reduction from Regence BlueCross BlueShield on October 1, while the insurer is asking the InsuranceDivision to approve a 9.6 percent increase for roughly 53,000 people who buy their own coverage. A public hearing on that rate request will be held next Monday at 3 p.m. in Salem.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Health Care

PROVIDENCE CUSTOMERS MAY SEE RATES RISE AS MUCH AS 18.6%

Providence Customers May See Rates Rise As Much As 18.6%

More than 12,000 Oregonians with individual health insurance plans will see rate hikes of 15.7% on average, and as high as 18.6%, if the premium rate hike posted today by Providence Health Plans goes forward. Many customers will also see increased out-of-pocket costs.

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