Final health insurance rate decisions lower 2020 premiums by $44 million
The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation issued final rate decisions for small businesses and individuals who buy their own health insurance.
“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.”
They could have kept the average rate increase even lower had they not insisted that one company increase their rates:
Notice the last row? Regence requested a rate increase of 3.9% with a rate of $445. Oregon decided that wasn’t enough and set the rate they must actually charge customers at $452 which is a 5.5% increase.
So why is the state of Oregon, by force of law, increasing prices to consumers more than that requested by the company providing the service?
One could postulate this is to protect other companies which are unable, or unwilling, to compete at the same price point, $445, as Regence. But BridgeSpan, Kaiser, and PacificSource are all allowed to price their product at or below $445.
I thought government regulation was supposed to be for consumer protection. This looks to me as if it is random exercise of power.