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Salem – Several health insurance companies have agreed to continue to offer statewide individual coverage – and in one case, expand coverage – in 2017, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

All counties in Oregon will have at least two carriers participating both on and off Oregon’s Health Insurance Marketplace and at least two carriers participating exclusively off the marketplace. Many of these counties were facing significant decreases in the number of health insurance companies available in the individual market in 2017.

“We are concerned about the shrinking number of options in certain areas of the state, and we asked insurance companies to reconsider their decisions to withdraw,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. “This is a short-term solution to provide more options in 2017, but we need to focus on long-term solutions to stabilize the individual market.”

The changes include the following:

  • BridgeSpan Health, Providence Health Plan, and Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon will once again offer statewide coverage in 2017. They previously planned to limit their coverage to certain geographic areas for 2017.
  • ATRIO Health Plans will expand its coverage to Deschutes County.

Because these four insurers are taking more risk than they expected, Allen is allowing them to adjust their rates upward. The rate changes result in more consistent rates across the state and include the following:

  • BridgeSpan and Regence’s statewide rates are between 3 percent and 6 percent higher than the final rates the DCBS Division of Financial Regulation approved in July.
  • For the counties included in Providence’s original filing, the rates are about 5 percent higher than the final rates approved in July.
  • For the counties included in ATRIO’s original filing, the rates are 2 percent to 8 percent higher than the final rates approved in July.
  • For the counties Providence and ATRIO added after rates were approved, the state assigned new rates equivalent to BridgeSpan’s new rates.

“While bringing back these plans throughout the state is in the best interest of consumers, we know continued rate increases are not sustainable,” Allen said. “In the coming months, we will work with the Governor’s office, legislators, and stakeholders to develop proposals for the 2017 legislative session that address the underlying costs of health care so that Oregonians throughout the state continue to have coverage options.”

For county-by-county details about coverage in the individual market, visit dfr.oregon.gov/public-resources/Documents/individual-coverage.pdf. The Division of Financial Regulation will post final premium tables for each county later this month on oregonhealthrates.org/.

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The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dcbs.oregon.gov and dfr.oregon.gov.

Press questions

Brad Hilliard
503-947-7873
brad.hilliard@oregon.gov

Mark Peterson
503-947-7868
mark.peterson@oregon.gov​​​​​