Chris Gray

Kaiser Faces Pressure from State after Public Employee Health Plan Deemed Inefficient

Despite some success in keeping costs down since 2012, the state’s public employee plans are not significantly outperforming nationwide figures, and its legacy Providence plan, which has not adopted coordinated care reforms, was the most efficient plan in eight of Oregon’s 20 largest counties.

Kaiser Permanente should be prepared for increased scrutiny of its premiums and health spending priorities for public employees after a report Tuesday that showed it was easily the least efficient of the health insurers that contract with the Public Employees Benefit Board.

Gelser and Republicans Push Back on Cuts to Services for Disabled Kids

Oregon provides all eligible families who apply with caretaker supports and equipment that make it easier for children to live at home with their parents - but funds for that money-saving approach were slated to be cut.

Planned cuts to in-home services for disabled kids are looking less likely after a bipartisan trio of legislators pushed back against them Thursday and demanded that the state find the funding to keep the program open.

Health Leaders Say Time is Up for FamilyCare After Years Long Feud

In an interview with The Lund Report, Rep. Mitch Greenlick and House Speaker Tina Kotek said they tried to work with the state’s second-largest Medicaid provider as it struggled to live within its rates, but the CCO would not reform. Heatherington, defiant to the end, cried “bull----.”

The state’s Democratic leaders are disappointed at the collapse of FamilyCare, but in a lengthy interview, they told The Lund Report that it is now time to move forward by closing down the Portland Medicaid health plan at the end of January and transferring its members to other coordinated care o

Oregon Sets New Obamacare Record, Despite Shorter Enrollment Period

People whose health insurance plan stopped being offered last week will have until March 1 to pick a new one. These are health plans that were sold in 2017 but not 2018.

Oregon exceeded expectations in its open enrollment period for 2018 individual health plans sold on healthcare.gov -- cresting above 156,000 plans, a slight increase over a year ago and higher than all previous years since Obamacare took effect in 2014.

Oregon ABLE Program Enrolls More than 1,000 People with Disabilities

Modeled on the popular 529 college savings accounts, the program allows people with disabilities and their families to save money and receive a debit card without losing their benefits.

The Oregon ABLE savings program for people with disabilities opened accounts for more than 1,000 people, who collectively saved $3.4 million, taking advantage of changes to federal rules that allow people to save without losing their benefits.

Greenlick Wants Oregon to Step into Void on Healthcare Improvement

With the federal government in retreat, a new task force of insurers, healthcare providers and single-payer activists will debate ways Oregon can take the lead toward universal healthcare and a more equitable system of providing quality care to all Oregonians, regardless of income or employment status.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, has launched a universal healthcare taskforce, dedicated to the goal of incremental improvement of the healthcare system to make it fairer and more cost-effective.

PEBB Shows Slight Surplus for 2017, Keeping Costs Below Inflation Cap

Actuaries reported a $5.2 million surplus in the Oregon public employees self-insured health plan for 2017, as it stayed below budget and under the 3.4 percent inflation cap imposed by the Legislature.

The Public Employees Benefit Board is on track to come in below its inflation target for 2017, allowing it to add a small $5.2 million surplus to its reserve.

Oregon Borrows from Medicaid as Congress Fiddles on Children’s Health

Rep. Greg Walden said Tuesday that he will insist that CHIP funding is attached to the continuing resolution that will keep the entire government opened after Dec. 22.

Oregon has found a way to borrow $35 million from its Medicaid program to cover 120,000 children and 1,700 pregnant immigrant women who are covered through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, allowing them to maintain coverage through April despite the ongoing failure of Congress to reauthor

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