Chris Gray

Oregon Law, Rate Review Should Buffer Threats to Insurance Market

Trump administration officials have promoted substandard temporary health plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, but state law restricts these plans to 90 days.

Oregon Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi told a pair of legislative panels this week that the state’s consumers will be protected against the Trump administration’s attempts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act with the promotion of substandard, short-term health insurance plans.

PEBB Makes $9.4 Million in Cuts to Keep Under Budget Cap

The board held off on increasing deductibles, but increased the out-of-pocket maximum for most plans, as well as emergency room fees. The board decided to bring the administration for its Moda Health plans in-house with self-insurance.

The Public Employee Benefit Board voted to hold off on increased deductibles and other unpopular cuts to healthcare benefits for state workers while still trimming $9.4 million from 2019 expenses to keep spending under the inflation cap set by the Legislature.

Reproductive Rights Groups Gird for Abortion Ballot Fight

Oregon Life United says it’s gathered 100,000 signatures for a ballot measure that would bar public funding of abortions, curtailing access for poor women. Planned Parenthood and its allies may need to spend $2 million to defeat such a ballot measure.

Abortion rights are in retreat across the United States, but Oregon Democrats went to the barricades a year ago to push the state in the other direction -- guaranteeing the ability to get an abortion at no extra cost for almost all women, even immigrants living here without legal permission.

Brown Gets Large Donations from Centene and ONA; Cambia Backs Buehler

Rep. Knute Buehler has spent $1.3 million in the past eight weeks as he works to fend off challengers Greg Wooldridge, backed by Right to Life, and Sam Carpenter, who has the support of former Senate candidate and Oregon Medical Association past president Monica Wehby.

Centene Corporation and the Oregon Nurses Association are spending big to help Democratic Gov. Kate Brown get elected, while Republican state Rep.

OEBB Bails on Wellness Program that Didn’t Show Results

The health benefit plan for teachers gave more than $10 million in incentives to members over the past four school years but was hampered in its attempts to verify whether the Healthy Futures program made members healthier or saved money.

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board spent $10.5 million on a wellness program its advisors now say didn’t show results in improving the health of its members, and OEBB had no way of knowing if it saved money on medical costs.

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