2015 Health Insurance Rates for Oregon

2015 Health Insurance Rates for Oregon

The Oregon Insurance Division on Aug. 1, 2014, announced approved rates for 2015 individual and small group health insurance. The state did not release an average increase or decrease amount, but touted them as lower in 2015.The state’s insurance commissioner, Laura Cali, said in a press release: ”Our rigorous review included public hearings and analysis to ensure rates are reasonable and support a sustainable market. Ultimately, the approved rates are lower on average than in 2014, reflecting the effect of competition and Oregonians’ expanded access to health coverage.”[1]

Ultimately, average plan rate increases and decreases hold little real meaning for consumers since they are averaged across plans and not people. Since some plans enroll more consumers than others, the average plan rate across individuals may look a little different. Premiums vary by insurance company, plan, age group and geographic region. Furthermore, eligibility for advanced premium tax credits will also impact monthly premiums.

For a 40-year-old living in Portland, the average approved rate change ranged from -20.6 percent to 10.6 percent. The overall average approved rate change for this person, using the average approved rate change across all carriers for a 40-year-old living in Portland, is -2.48 percent. The actual rate change this person experiences will depend on the additional factors mentioned above.

The approved 2015 rates affect about 10 percent of Oregonians who purchase their own health insurance coverage or are employed by a small business (50 or fewer employees) and obtain it through their workplace.

Consumers may search 2015 rate requests and find sample premiums at oregonhealthrates.org.

Changes to Oregons exchange for 2015

Oregon’s health insurance exchange will shift from a state-based marketplace to a partnership model known as a supported state-based marketplace for 2015. Cover Oregon will continue to manage health plans and educate the public, but consumers will enroll in 2015 health insurance plans through the federal marketplace website.

Looking at the numbers, 2014 health insurance enrollment in Oregon appears a success. A Gallup Well-Being poll placed Oregon among the 10 states with the largest reduction in percentage uninsured from 2013 to 2014.[2] As of Oct. 28, 2014, Cover Oregon enrolled 416,056 individuals enrolled in health insurance—105,055 in private health plans and 311,001 in Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program.[3] However, Cover Oregon’s online portal was reportedly plagued with technical problems and the state is now in litigation with the company it contracted to build it.

Individuals and family health plans

The following 13 companies have been approved to sell ACA-compliant individual health insurance plans in Oregon. Those with an asterisk participate in Oregon’s health insurance exchange.

  1. ATRIO Health Plans*
  2. BridgeSpan Health Company*
  3. Health Net Health Plan of Oregon, Inc.*
  4. Health Republic Insurance Company*
  5. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the NW*
  6. LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon*
  7. Moda Health Plan, Inc.*
  8. Oregon’s Health CO-OP*
  9. PacificSource Health Plans*
  10. Providence Health Plan*
  11. Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
  12. Time Insurance Company
  13. Trillium Community Health Plan, Inc.*

Small business health plans

The following 14 companies have been approved to sell ACA-compliant small group health insurance plans in Oregon. Those with an asterisk participate in Oregon’s health insurance exchange.

  1. ATRIO Health Plans*
  2. Health Net Health Plan of Oregon, Inc.
  3. Health Republic Insurance Company*
  4. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the NW*
  5. LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon
  6. Moda Health Plan, Inc.*
  7. Oregon’s Health CO-OP*
  8. PacificSource Health Plans*
  9. Providence Health Plan*
  10. Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
  11. Samaritan Health Plans, Inc.
  12. Trillium Community Health Plan, Inc.*
  13. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company
  14. UnitedHealthcare of Oregon, Inc.

Medicaid

Oregon expanded Medicaid to low-income adults in 2014. According to a Sept. 30 article posted on Oregon Live, “the federal government has agreed to handle most Oregon Health Plan enrollments for a 12-month period. Others will be processed manually by about 75 people.”[4]

Choosing 2015 coverage

Oregonians who purchased health insurance on or away from Cover Oregon may renew their 2014 coverage in 2015, if it is still available. However, is wise for all consumers to reevaluate their insurance coverage for the year to come and weigh their options carefully.

Some things to consider:

  • Did your family health needs change in the past year? Will they change in the year to come?
  • Did your income change? Are you eligible for a tax credit, eligible for a larger or smaller tax credit, or no longer eligible for one at all?
  • Did you use the coverage you selected? Was it too much? Too little?
  • Did your plan network include your preferred providers and hospitals? Were they conveniently located?

Health and financial needs change, benchmark plan rates used to determine tax credits fluctuate, tax credit eligibility changes, and so do plan rates and networks. Check out the plan options in your area. Compare monthly premiums, annual deductibles and out-of-pocket limits, coinsurance, copayments and network providers and determine which work best for your healthcare needs and budget. Recalculate your premium tax credit subsidy eligibility.

If you qualify for a premium tax credit, you may want to keep your search to the exchange. If your are not eligible for a premium tax credit or the amount is small, you may want to consider options in the private marketplace. Remember: Tax credits are only available when you shop your state’s exchange. If you plan to buy 2015 coverage through Oregon’s exchange and receive a subsidy, be sure to update your financial and household information.

Use HealthCare.com’s Obamacare tax credit subsidy calculator to see if you might be eligible for a tax credit—and estimate how much. While you’re visiting HealthCare.com, enter your ZIP code to find and compare plans in your area. Call (877) 626-1943 to get help directly from an agent.

 

 

 

References

Cover Oregon. “Agent Bulletin 10-17-14.” Oct. 17, 2014. http://resources.coveroregon.com/agents.html#portaltools.

Cover Oregon. “Medical Coverage.” https://www.coveroregon.com/coverage/medical.

Cover Oregon. “Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.” https://www.coveroregon.com/employer/financial-assistance.

Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. Oregon Insurance Division. “ACA-Compliant Plans.” http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/docs/Rate_filing_decision.pdf

[1] Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. Oregon Insurance Division. “Average Health Insurance Rates Lower in 2015.” N.D. http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/insurance/news/Pages/2014/aug012014.aspx.

[2] Witters, Dan. “Arkansas, Kentucky Report Sharpest Drops in Uninsured Rate.” Gallup Well-Being. Aug. 5, 2014. http://www.gallup.com/poll/174290/arkansas-kentucky-report-sharpest-drops-uninsured-rate.aspx.

[3] Cover Oregon. “Update: Private Coverage and Oregon Health Plan Enrollment Through Cover Oregon.” Oct. 28, 2014. http://resources.coveroregon.com/Enrollment-update.html.

[4] Budnick, Nick. “As Cover Oregon Marks the One-Year Anniversary of ‘Go-Live,’ Health Exchange’s Struggles Continue.” Oregon Live. Updated Oct. 1, 2014. http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2014/09/as_cover_oregon_marks_the_one-.html.

About Jenifer Dorsey

Jenifer Dorsey is a regular contributor to HealthCare.com. She has covered health insurance and health and fitness for more than five years. In her free time she is a competitive track cyclist and loves to travel, especially to places with velodromes.

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