October 15, 2009 -- Unlike its competitors, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield is asking seniors to pay much higher premiums for their Medicare Advantage plans next year, according to filings submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
October 14, 2009 -- People rejected by insurance companies because of pre-existing conditions will pay 12.5 percent more for health coverage through the high risk pool starting Jan. 1.
That decision was approved by a 7-1 vote of the Oregon Medical Insurance Board on Oct. 13. C.J. McLeod, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of ODS Health Plan, cast the only dissenting vote, preferring to raise rates by 15 percent similar to last year. “Otherwise we move backward,” he said.
October 5, 2009 -- Despite his failure to convince his colleagues to pass a free choice amendment to the $880 billion healthcare bill winding its way through Congress, Senator Ron Wyden refuses to give up the fight.
Free choice is “absolutely the key to healthcare reform,” he told physicians attending an Oregon Medical Association meeting last Saturday. Otherwise, “more than 200 million Americans working for large employers won’t have any choice of healthcare coverage.”
October 1, 2009 -- Only one health insurer has stepped up to the plate to capture the statewide contract for the Healthy Kids program -- PacificSource Health Plans – while five other insurers are vying for regional contracts.
October 1, 2009 -- Katherine Keene has been hired by Capitol Manor, a retirement community in Salem, as its executive director. Most recently she chaired Salem Hospital’s board of directors.
In 2003, Keene resigned as president and CEO of SAIF Corp., after an 11-year stint. Her resignation came after news reports revealed that Keene had spent more than $1.1 million on a lobbying contract with former Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s consulting firm from 1996 through 2003. Keene earned $295,000 in 2003.
October 1, 2009 -- Following a nationwide search, Richard Harris has been chosen as the permanent director of Oregon’s Addictions and Mental Health Division. He spent the past 12 months as interim director.
September 24, 2009 -- Faced with declining revenues, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is trimming back its employee retirement fund. Starting Dec. 31, employees will no longer earn pension dollars, and the plan will be closed to new employees, according to a memo sent by Mark Stimpson, vice president of human resources, on Sept. 22.
September 17, 2009 -- Regence BlueCross BlueShield is among 52 health plans across the country targeted by Congressman Henry Waxman (D-California) who’s conducting an investigation into the private health insurance industry.
As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Waxman’s asking the nation’s largest insurers to disclose their CEO salaries, bonuses, profit margins, corporate retreats and other financial data by the end of September.