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OSPIRG applauds passage of landmark health insurance network consumer protection legislation

For Immediate Release

House Bill 2468 will enable state regulators hold insurers accountable for delivering access to needed health care services through provider networks. The bill passed the Oregon Senate today and is on its way to Gov. Brown’s desk.

Statement from OSPIRG Health Care Advocate Jesse O’Brien on the passage of HB 2468 through the Oregon State Senate:

“Consumers and consumer advocates nationwide are increasingly concerned about the impact of narrowing health insurance provider networks and the need for greater transparency and accountability to enable policyholders to access the care they need when they need it. Current Oregon law provides little recourse to ensure basic access to services and access to accurate information about provider networks. With the passage of HB 2468, Oregon can begin addressing these growing problems.

“Consumers should be able to expect that their insurer’s provider directory is accurate and up-to-date, both during the shopping experience to ensure that they know what they are buying and after purchase, when seeking to access medical services. However, recent reports and studies have documented widespread errors and outdated information in provider directories, leading to confusion and, in some cases, large, unexpected out-of-network charges. HB 2468 will give Oregon regulators the tools to begin addressing these problems by requiring insurers to provide accurate, actionable provider network information to consumers.

“When consumers enroll in a health plan, they count on timely access to health care providers who can deliver on the benefits they purchased. Unfortunately, current Oregon law provides few protections to ensure that health plans offer a provider network that can provide covered services in a timely fashion. HB 2468 will establish a framework to hold insurers accountable for providing timely access to needed care.

“For these reasons, OSPIRG strongly supported HB 2468, a landmark effort to strengthen Oregon’s consumer protections in the area of healthcare network adequacy, and we applaud its unanimous Senate passage today. We look forward to working with the Oregon Insurance Division to implement these protections in a way that delivers results for Oregon consumers.”

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