Prices in Oregon’s competitive market based on new consumer
protections and new benefits
(Salem) – The Oregon Insurance Division has approved health
insurance premiums for 2014. Consumers can see examples of the premiums at
Twelve insurance companies and two consumer operated and
oriented plans (COOPs) submitted rates for approval for individual or small
employer markets, meaning consumers will see plenty of choice in Oregon’s
competitive health insurance market.
The approved rates come after two months of review that
included public hearings and analysis of the justifications that companies used
for their proposed rates. Ultimately, the Insurance Division lowered rates for
individual plans from a few percentage points to 30 percentage points. For
small employers, the Insurance Division reduced rates from requested amounts up
to 12 percentage points.
The 2014 rates are affected by changes in the new plans
compared to those offered in the past. With new consumer protections, plans
cannot reject people with pre-existing conditions and there are new minimum
requirements for preventive care and other benefits. Also, the “age gap” has
been narrowed so older people may see a decrease in premiums while younger
people could see an increase.
“The base premiums offered for health plans in 2014 have
gone through a rigorous and transparent public process that overall has
resulted in costs being reduced below what was proposed,” Insurance
Commissioner Lou Savage said.
An individual’s premium will be based on geography, age,
family size, tobacco use, and whether the plan is purchased through Cover
Oregon, the state’s new health insurance marketplace. Financial help is
available through Cover Oregon for some individuals, families, and small
Now that the division has approved rates, insurance
companies and Cover Oregon will create consumer-friendly materials showing a
variety of plans with costs and benefits. Cover Oregon, at www.coveroregon.com,
will show side-by-side plan comparisons starting in October 2013. People who
qualify for financial help must shop through Cover Oregon to take advantage of
the premium subsidies available by income.
The Insurance Division is part of the Department of Consumer
and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer