Consumers saved $80 million in health insurance costs since 2010
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 $80 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%.
This additional scrutiny comes after OSPIRG's Laura Etherton led an effort in 2010 to pass tough new Insurance Division rules to crack down on excessive premium increases - and her subsequent investigations into proposed premium increases by Regence, United HealthCare and more.
Our work has been recognized by the state, and OSPIRG Foundation has received a significant grant award from the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services Insurance Division to provide in-depth analysis on proposed insurance rate increases, share our findings with state officials and the general public, and encourage the public to participate in Oregon’s rate review process.
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In Their Words
“OSPIRG has been a vital partner in our efforts to fight for better, more affordable health care for all Americans.”
- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden,
- State Senator Chip Shields and State Representative Chris Harker, in reference to the effort to crack down on excessive health insurance rate hikes