PacificSource Proposes 5.56% Small Business Rate Hike

Oregon Insurance Division to hold a March 20 public hearing in Eugene

March 19, 2012 -- PacificSource is proposing to raise rates an average of 5.56% on small businesses, affecting 35,224 Oregonians enrolled in coverage through a small business employer. The insurer will explain its justification for the rate increase at a hearing held by the Oregon Insurance Division.

According to the rate filing, the increase will have a wide range of impact on small business health insurance premiums. Some businesses may see rates increase up to 14.6%, while others may see reductions of up to 11.20%. OSPIRG Foundation’s Health Insurance Rate Watch project staff will testify at the hearing, and submit a detailed analysis of the rate filing to the insurance division as public comment which will also be available at www.ospirgfoundation.org

Consumers and small businesses can read the PacificSource rate hike proposal and post a comment of their own. The deadline for public comments is March 25, 2012.

Public Hearing Details:

Tuesday, March 20h from 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Lane Community College, Center for Meeting and Learning - Room 220, 4000 E. 30th Ave, Eugene

More information:  http://www.oregonhealthrates.org/?pg=public_hearing.html

Background on Oregon’s health insurance rate review program: 

In 2010, new rules went into effect strengthening the standards that health insurance companies must meet before raising premiums. Insurers must justify rate hikes in writing, showing that they are not excessive and explaining how the insurer is working to reduce costs. All rate filings are public information, available online, and open to public comment. The Oregon Insurance Division evaluates these justifications, and must take public input into consideration. More recently, the Insurance Division has begun to hold public hearings on pending rate increases. For more information, visit http://www.oregonhealthrates.org/.

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