Chris Gray

Window to Buy Health Insurance Closes at End of Friday

Consumers that have a 2017 plan that will not be offered in 2018 will be automatically moved to a different plan if they don’t actively select a new one, but if they don’t like that plan or still haven’t decided on the right one, they will be given a special enrollment period through February to pick.

This year’s open enrollment for Obamacare is going down to the wire, with the chance to sign up on ending at the end of the night Friday.

Yes On Measure 101 Campaign Tries to Capture Grassroots Energy

Democrats hope to channel anger among left-leaning voters to support Obamacare at the ballot box while Republicans hope concerns over mismanagement at the Oregon Health Authority causes voters to reject a set of taxes on hospital claims and insurance premiums.

The Yes on Measure 101 campaign rallied its troops this weekend in Eugene and Portland, braving the cold and rain to canvass thousands of homes to support the Oregon Health Plan.

Thanksgiving Holiday Slows Insurance Enrollment for 2018

Consumers who have not qualified for critical health insurance subsidies to get an affordable plan may be able to get a subsidized plan if they sock money away in a health savings account or a traditional IRA.

Health insurance enrollment on the marketplace slowed in Oregon over the Thanksgiving holiday, mirroring the trend nationally.

Drug Companies Give to Brown While Cambia Backs Buehler

In the campaign for governor, Rep. Knute Buehler has outraised the sitting governor slightly for the year, reporting contributions of $2 million to Kate Brown’s $1.9 million. But she’s burnt through $1.2 million while he has limited expenses to $550,000.

Pharmaceutical companies are coming through for Gov. Kate Brown in the money race for next year’s governor’s election, with seven companies led by Pfizer contributing $1,000 apiece or more.

Healthcare Industry Spends to Support Healthcare Taxes

The state’s leading unions and several top healthcare companies, including Legacy Health and PacificSource, are out-raising opponents of Measure 101.

The healthcare industry is cutting the big checks in support of a ballot measure that would impose taxes on themselves -- highlighting the irony of the vote on Measure 101 this January.

Despite Hot Start in Insurance Enrollment, State Still Needs Big Numbers to Meet Targets

Oregon is outpacing other states, with nearly 43,000 signups on, out of 2.3 million across the country. But to match last year, Oregon needs to double its enrollment by Dec. 15, while the nation must triple its own.

Midway through the open enrollment period for the individual health insurance market, Oregon is off to a hot start, but with only three weeks left till the normal window to sign up for 2018 closes on Dec. 15, the state may still fall short of 2017 enrollment.

Oregon State Hospital Population Down, But Could Rise with Winter

The state has tried to work proactively with counties to get them to stop warehousing people in the state mental hospital when they are too sick to stand trial. This population, which has doubled in the past five years, sits at 190 after peaking last winter at 243.

The number of people sent to the state hospital pending criminal trials has declined from its alarming peak in 2016, but this population is still too high.

MS Drug Prices May Abate with Transparency After Eightfold Rise Since 1996

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Amid outcries over exorbitant drug prices, the latest MS drug has been priced at $65,000 -- shy of the average of $78,000, but still several times higher than the $10,000 average in 1996. Drug manufacturers have hiked prices for other existing drugs even as new options have come on the market.

Expensive, complex drugs to treat Multiple Sclerosis are just getting more expensive, even as more options come onto the market.

Brown Orders State Health Officials To Keep Children’s Health Program Open

Meanwhile, Medicare may owe Oregon money for healthcare that CCOs covered for low-income elderly adults who were misclassified by the state, possibly narrowing the reported $74 million overpayment that Oregon received.

Oregon’s children won’t lose their health insurance because of Congressional incompetence -- at least this year, anyway.

Hayden Blasts Democrats for Planning to Cut Services to Disabled Kids

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Cottage Grove Republican Rep. Cedric Hayden criticized the Democratic-led Legislature for funding a long list of pork barrel projects, singling out $1.5 million for Portland’s Japanese Garden, while demanding up to $10 million in cuts to services for people with disabilities.

The Oregon Department of Human Services is moving ahead with plans next summer to start limiting the number of disabled children who can receive in-home supports, drawing a sharp rebuke from Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Cottage Grove, who cried that the decision will “tear these families apart.”


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