First look at 2016 proposed health insurance rates‏

Salem - Beginning today, Oregon consumers can see proposed rates for 2016 individual and small employer health insurance plans. 

Health insurance companies submitted rate requests to the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Insurance Division on April 30. The division must approve any rates before they can be charged to policyholders. 

"Today marks the beginning of a two-month process in which the division will rigorously review each health insurance rate request to ensure that it is reasonable and justified," said Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali. 

The proposed rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer. These two plan types cover about 10 percent of Oregonians. 

In the individual market, 15 companies submitted average rate requests ranging from a 1.9 percent decrease to a 52 percent increase. In the small group market, 15 companies submitted average rate requests ranging from a 10.6 percent decrease to a 22.2 percent increase. 

"Oregon is known nationally for its thorough and transparent rate review process," Cali said. "We encourage Oregonians to make their voice heard and participate in the rate review process." 

Oregonians are encouraged to comment on rate change requests during the public comment period, which is open until June 25. The public can submit comments online and during public rate hearings. 

The division has made a few changes to the rate review process that take effect this year as it reviews 2016 plans. These changes will provide more clarity to the division's analysis of proposed rates. To learn more about the rate review process and recent changes, visit www.oregon.gov/dcbs/insurance/healthrates/documents/new-2016.pdf

To search rate filings, submit comments, and find more information about the rate review process, visit oregonhealthrates.org. Once scheduled, hearing information will also be posted to this website. 

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The Insurance Division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visitwww.dcbs.oregon.gov and www.insurance.oregon.gov.

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