WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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For those small businesses and individuals who buy their own health insurance…

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation issued final rate decisions for small businesses and individuals who buy their own health insurance.

Final health insurance rates for the 2020 individual market have been lowered 1 percent on average from the division’s preliminary rate decisions, and 2 percent from the original requests filed by insurance companies in May. The final rates lower 2020 premiums by approximately $44 million from the original requests submitted by health insurance companies.

“Our collaborative rate review process has been key to building a stable health insurance market that enabled us to limit the individual market rate increase to an average of 1.5 percent,” said Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi. “The Oregon Reinsurance Program has also continued to show its value, keeping individual rates 6 percent lower than they would be without the program. We are grateful to the legislature for passing and our stakeholders for supporting the six year extension of this important program.”

The division’s transparent rate review process brings insurance companies, the division, and the public together to review health insurance rates. The collaborative process ensures all data are thoroughly reviewed and considered before rates are charged to consumers.

Several factors, such as medical costs, federal policy changes, the Oregon Reinsurance Program, and federal risk adjustment payments are considered to make sure rates will adequately cover health care costs.

Individual market 
The division issued final decisions for seven companies in the individual market with average rate changes ranging from a 3.2 percent decrease to an 8.9 percent increase, for an average increase of 1.5 percent. Under the decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $436 to $530 a month.

The preliminary rates included reductions for HeathNet and Kaiser. The final decisions include reductions for Bridgespan (2.8 percent increase lowered to 1.4 percent) and Providence (2.1 percent increase down to 0.0 percent rate hold). Regence was the only company to see a rate increase moving from 3.9 percent to 5.5 percent.

The rate changes are company-wide averages based on premiums for plans before financial assistance through Oregon’s Health Insurance Marketplace is taken into account.

All Oregonians who purchase their own insurance are encouraged to apply for assistance through the Marketplace for 2020, even if they did not qualify last year. In 2019, Oregonians who received help with the costs of their health insurance paid on average $140 a month.

Open enrollment for 2020 plans is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

Small group market 
In the small group market, the division issued final decisions for nine companies with average rates ranging from a 2.3 percent decrease to an 11.7 percent increase. Under the decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $321 to $394 a month.

Final rates include reductions from the preliminary decisions for five of the nine small group insurance companies.

See the chart for the full list of final decisions.

Insurance companies have 21 days to request a hearing before the final rates are set for 2020.

More information for each insurance company can be found at oregonhealthrates.org. A complete premium comparison table for each county based on ages 21, 40, and 60 will be posted online in August.

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