The 2013 Legislature is winding down. After it is over I will provide complete details on legislation and budgets that affect our programs, our work, and the clients, providers and communities served by OHA.
One thing we already know about 2014 is that the competitive marketplace created through Cover Oregon is helping to keep commercial insurance premiums in check. Last week we had a first look at the approved rates that will be offered to individual consumers. As you may recall, after the carriers filed their original rate requests last month, several requested reductions once it became clear that they were requesting much higher premiums than the competition.
And now, after the Oregon Insurance Division's public rate review process, premiums have been significantly reduced below the originally requested rates.
More details on the premiums will be available soon. Remember, premiums will be lower than the approved rates for those who qualify for financial assistance. The bottom line is that when insurance companies have to compete in a transparent marketplace, consumers reap the benefits.
Just as significant is that for the first time, no one can be denied health insurance or charged more because of a pre-existing condition.
We are entering a new era in our state. One where 95 percent of the people are projected to have health care coverage. One where insurance companies have to be competitive. One where health care is more coordinated, and waste and inefficiency are reduced to the benefit of us all.
More to come in the next few weeks.