While the CEOs of Providence and Regence each made more than half a million dollars last year, Oregon’s small business owners and consumers struggled to afford the cost of health insurance.
The average monthly health insurance premium in Oregon skyrocketed from $184 to $365 for a single person between 1998 and 2008. But what new benefits did individuals receive to cause their health insurance premiums to double in costs in just ten years?
Did policies start covering more conditions? Lowering the cost of prescriptions? We don’t have the answers, because insurers don’t have to give them.
Right now, a package of insurance rate review bills introduced by Senator Chip Shields aims to change that and bring accountability to the insurance industry. Here are some of the important changes that the package of Senate Bills 717, 718 and 719 would provide:
*Provide public hearings when insurance companies request to increase premiums on individual and small group policyholders.
*Allow small businesses to intervene in the rate review process.
*Bring insurance companies under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act.
These bills are headed to the Senate floor for a vote today at 1pm. Please call your local senators and urge them to support this crucial legislation.