If you told your boss you wanted to make twice as much money, would you need to justify why you deserved it? What if prices at your local grocery store doubled? You’d probably want an explanation, unless you’re the CEO of a major insurance corporation. The average monthly health insurance premium in Oregon has skyrocketed from $184 for a single person in 1998 to $365 for a single person in 2008. Has coverage gotten better? Are companies handing out gold-plated health cards?
We don’t have the answers, because insurers don’t have to give them. A package of insurance rate review bills making its way through the Oregon legislature aims to change that. Senator Chip Shields introduced Senate Bills 717, 718 and 719 to bring some long-lacking accountability to the insurance industry. Here are some of the important changes that this package of bills would provide:
- Create a public hearings process on requests by insurance companies to increase premiums on individual and small group policyholders.
- Allow small businesses to intervene in the rate review process.
- Bring insurance companies under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act.
Economic Fairness Oregon is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to consumer protection and fair lending laws. Our goal is to restore a financial system built to work for the people, not against them.