Advertising Campaign Sparks Insurance Complaints

Last year, Moda Health Plan had the highest number of complaints among the major health insurers, while Regence BlueCross BlueShield followed closely behind.

Complaints work! Just ask the Oregon Insurance Division, which has seen its complaint numbers spiral by 34 percent after launching an advertising campaign in May.

Better yet – those advertising dollars aren’t coming out of taxpayer pockets. 

After receiving around $1.9 million from multi-state settlements against insurance companies, the Division decided to put those dollars to work and is spending $833,000 on television, radio and billboards, along with print and digital advertisements -- encouraging people to file complaints after they’ve been denied care or faced delays getting their insurance company to pay the bills, according to Lisa Morawski, spokeswoman. Fish Marketing produced the segments, after receiving the $1.3 million contract.

“While we think much of the increase is due to the campaign, we also have been receiving more complaints this year about health insurance, as more people are insured and have questions about their policies,” Morawski told The Lund Report. 

Last year the Division helped consumers recover about $1.16 million in benefits through the complaint process after receiving 2,879 complaints.

Among the major health insurers in Oregon, Moda Health Plan led the way with the number of complaints, 173, followed closely behind by Regence BlueCross BlueShield, 167, Providence Health Plan, 121 and Kaiser Permanente with 114. Bringing up the rear were Health Net, 59, PacificSource, 55 and LifeWise Health Plan. To review the complaints by health insurer, click here.  

Besides complaints about denials and delays, people also shared concerns about coverage questions, cancellations, premium/rating and billing and adjustor handling. 

The division also is speaking to community organizations around the state about its services and providing information to community organizations 

“The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the Insurance Division’s consumer advocacy services,” Morawski added. “The Insurance Division's consumer advocates are highly experienced in insurance issues and are available at no charge to help consumers with questions or problems related to auto, health, homeowner, life, or other types of insurance policies.” 

The settlement dollars to launch the advertising campaign primarily came from life insurance companies including New York Life, Genworth Life, Nationwide Life, Aviva Life,  Midland National Life Insurance Company,  AIG and  American Skandia Life Assurance Corporation (Prudential).

Here’s how people can file a complaint.

And this video, which was produced as part of this campaign, explains the complaint process.

Diane can be reached at [email protected]

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