regence blue cross blue shield

Regence Rate Decision Sparks Consumer Watchdog Approach

The Lund Report
Sen. Chip Shields is proposing legislation that would give consumer groups access to proprietary information before the Insurance Division approves rate requests

January 8, 2012 -- When insurance officials made a decision about a rate request by Regence BlueCross BlueShield after reviewing documents behind closed doors last summer, it raised the ire of Sen. Chip Shields (D-Portland).

A strong proponent of transparency, he’s drafting legislation that would let consumer watchdog groups such as OSPIRG have access to such proprietary information, giving them intervener status.

Regence Regains its Lead While Losing Individual Members

The Lund Report
At the same time, Regence is the only nonprofit insurer in Oregon not participating in coordinated care organizations, which provide services to people on Medicaid

January 2, 2013 -- Regence BlueCross BlueShield took back its spot as Oregon’s top provider of health insurance, though its ongoing battle for market dominance remains a near-tie with previous leader Kaiser Permanente. Oregon’s health reform efforts played a major role pulling Kaiser down from the top position.

Cambia/Regence Investment in CoPatient Raises Questions

The Lund Report
OSPIRG suggests there’s a potential conflict of interest between an insurer and a company designed to help people find errors and overcharges on their insurance bills

November 21, 2012 -- A potential conflict of interest exists between an organization set up to help people resolve their health insurance bills, known as CoPatient, and the non-profit parent corporation of an insurance company, Cambia Health Solutions which derives its income from the investment portfolio and surpluses of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and other Regence plans in Washington, Idaho and Utah.

That’s the concern of Jesse Ellis O’Brien, the healthcare advocate for OSPIRG, a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests.

Regence/Cambia Investment Spending on IT Tops $400M

The Lund Report
Despite heavy investment, Cambia slammed for IT errors, including withdrawals from non-members' bank accounts

October 25, 2012 -- It seemed like a good idea at the time. With healthcare costs rising, insurance plans from across the Northwest thought they might be able to save money by sharing resources. By 1997, Oregon’s BlueCross BlueShield had merged with BlueShield of Washington and other “Blues” plans from Utah and Idaho to become The Regence Group. Headquartered in downtown Portland, soon the new company had set its tech team to work at integrating its multiple lines of business.

Kaiser Bolsters Position as Oregon’s Largest Insurer

The Lund Report
PacificSource sees largest growth in membership as it aims to become region’s leading plan

October 4, 2012 -- Kaiser Permanente has bolstered its newly won lead as the state’s top health insurer at the same time as long-time leader Regence BlueCross BlueShield has continued its slide.

And while No. 3 PacificSource still has half the members of Kaiser and Regence, it enrolled more new members than anyone else in the state, according to reports on the first half of 2012 filed with the Oregon Insurance Division.

Oregon’s Insurance Commissioner Speaks Out About Regence BlueCross BlueShield

The Lund Report
The decision by Providence to sever its contract with HealthNet could also pique his attention if HealthNet loses a significant number of members to its competitor

October 3, 2012 -- Regence BlueCross BlueShield could find itself on the hot seat again. This time actuaries from inside the Oregon Insurance Division are in the midst of conducting an in-depth financial review at Regence’s headquarters in downtown Portland -– looking for any irregularities and whether the insurer has the financial stability to meet the needs of its policyholders.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield Wants to Raise Rates for Small Businesses

The Lund Report
However, the insurer has toned down its request after realizing that its medical and pharmaceutical costs did not take as huge an increase as anticipated

September 13, 2012 -- Regence BlueCross BlueShield is at it again – this time asking for a 4.3 percent average rate increase for small employers that, if approved, would take effect in January.

However, this time around Regence’s request actually represents a 3.9 percent decrease from previously approved rates by the Oregon Insurance Division. .

Regence Refuses to Publicly Share Information on Rate Hike

The Lund Report
Meanwhile the Oregon Insurance Division has approved a 12.2 percent rate increase for people who purchase their own coverage through Providence Health Plan

August 24, 2012 – A proposed 9.6 percent rate increase by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon looks like it will be decided behind closed doors. That increase would impact nearly 53,000 Oregonians who purchase their own coverage starting in December.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield Provided Incorrect Information on Rate Filing

The Lund Report
Information provided to OSPIRG and the Oregon Insurance Division showed that Regence’s administrative costs and salaries in the individual market had increased significantly, which was untrue upon further analysis

August 3, 2012 -- While advocates and rate payers await the decision by the Oregon Insurance Division on a proposed 9.6 percent increase by Regence BlueCross BlueShield that would impact about 53,000 Oregonians, a significant distortion stands out.

Initially, Regence told the Insurance Division and OSPIRG Foundation that that its salaries had risen by 37 percent while fees paid to insurance brokers had jumped by 84 percent between 2010 and 2011 for the individual market.


Subscribe to regence blue cross blue shield