Oregon Educators Benefit Board

State Ethics Officials Fine Former Chief of Benefit Board $20,000

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission fined James Raussen the maximum amount for numerous violations, including a night in Las Vegas, wine tasting, a Portland Trail Blazer playoff game and lavish meals.

Oregon ethics officials have fined the former director of a state agency in charge of insurance benefits for educators $20,000 for numerous violations.

OEBB Contract Overhaul Underway as OHA Evades Explanation of Director’s Resignation

The director of the Oregon Educators Benefit Board was mysteriously put on leave in September and quietly resigned last week. The Oregon Health Authority won’t provide any answers as to why they gave James Raussen a six-figure salary to oversee a $720 million contract overhaul only to let him go in less than a year.

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board recruited James Raussen from across the country and offered him a salary of $126,456 to revamp the statewide health plan for Oregon teachers.

Moda Health the Initial Favorite for Revamped Teacher Health Plan Contract

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board is redoing its contract, hoping to reduce medical inflation for school districts by asking insurers to do a better job coordinating care. The contract may be Moda’s to lose, since it currently provides care to most teachers. But Kaiser and Providence could be added in certain counties, and Regence and UnitedHealthCare also have competitive statewide bids.

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board has winnowed down its finalists for its revamped contract, calling back five health plans to be interviewed by the board members later this month.

OEBB Enrollment Moving Toward Cheaper Health Plans

State educators and others insured through the Oregon Educators Benefit Board have been migrating heavily toward catastrophic and coordinated care health plans offered by Moda Health. OEBB has encouraged this movement through lower premiums and copayments. Meanwhile, OEBB director James Raussen was suspended with pay last month.

The number of people who signed up for Moda Health’s coordinated care options through the Oregon Educators Benefit Board more than doubled this school year to nearly 38,000, up from 16,000 in 2015-2016.

OEBB Reaffirms New Director After Lund Report Article Causes Special Meeting

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board called a special executive session after an article in The Lund Report revealed previously undisclosed controversies about its new director James Raussen. A belated vetting process exonerated Raussen, and the board voted to go ahead with the hire, but the incident exposed continued holes in the state’s vetting process that relies upon media reports to let them know the background of candidates who apply for top-level government positions.

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board is sticking with its chosen new director, James Raussen, after an article last month in The Lund Report forced a special executive session of the board before its regular scheduled meeting Tuesday.

OEBB Puts Off New Contract Discussions for Another Year

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board will not have a better designed health contract in place before the 2017-2018 school year, raising questions about whether the health plan for teachers will be able to keep medical cost inflation anywhere near the 3.4 percent cap set by the Legislature.

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board voted unanimously Tuesday to delay its contract redesign for another year, arguing they are not yet prepared to take on the extensive work to rethink their health plan to save on costs while improving the patient experience.

OEBB Delays Insurance Proposal

The board, which provides coverage to 148,000 teachers, their dependents and retirees is taking a few more months to refine its RFP

Insurers lining up for the lucrative OEBB contract need to sit on their hands for several months.

OEBB, PEBB Prepare for New Administrator

The two boards have called a joint meeting next Tuesday to select a permanent administrator.

It’s been nearly 18 months since the two statewide health purchasing pools – better known as the Oregon Educators Benefit Board and the Public Employees Benefit Board – have had a permanent administrator, following the departure of Joan Kapowich in 2013.

OEBB Takes More Time to Release RFP

Instead of releasing its bid proposal in June, the Oregon Educators Benefit Board realized it needed an extra month and has delayed the RFP until early July. However, the new contracts will still take effect in October 2016.

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board has delayed its request for new proposals until early July because it needs more time to develop the scoring methodology and analyze the performance and review standards.


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