Ore. pre­mium rates for 2015 in­di­cate smaller price spread

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Ore­gon will see a much tighter range of pre­mium prices in 2015 for in­di­vid­ual and small em­ployer health in­sur­ance plans, ac­cord­ing to new rates an­nounced by state reg­u­la­tors.

The Ore­gon In­sur­ance Divi­sion says Moda Health, the com­pany that cap­tured nearly two-thirds of the in­di­vid­ual mar­ket with some of the low­est prices in 2014, will see a 10.6% rate in­crease on av­er­age. The in­crease places the com­pany in the mid­dle of the pack in terms of pre­mium prices and will af­fect more than 70,000 Moda en­rollees.

Some of the smaller car­ri­ers will see rate de­creases in 2015. Plans from Prov­i­dence Health & Ser­vices and Tril­lium Com­mu­nity Health will both drop by about 14% on av­er­age, for ex­am­ple.

Over­all, lower pre­mi­ums will in­crease and higher pre­mi­ums will de­crease as a re­sult of the new rates, In­sur­ance Com­mis­sioner Laura Cali said, mean­ing that pre­mium prices are con­verg­ing in the mid­dle, cre­at­ing a smaller price range.

The rate in­for­ma­tion comes a few months ahead of the next open-en­roll­ment pe­riod when cus­tomers can switch car­ri­ers, from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.

Ore­gon officials say the rates are, at best, a start­ing point for con­sumers.

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