OSPIRG Latest Blog Posts

Something remarkable just happened to health insurance costs here in Oregon. Last week, after the state’s health insurers posted their proposed premium rates for next year, two insurers publicly reversed course and moved to cut their prices.

Everyone knows prescription drugs cost more than they should. But many people are surprised to learn about one of the key ways drug companies keep prices high: Paying off competitors to keep generics off the market.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

On Friday, most Senate Republicans again sent the President a letter saying they would not confirm Richard Cordray to a full term as CFPB director unless the agency's powers and independence were first gutted. Their intransigence contributes to market uncertainty that ignores at least three things: The CFPB is here to stay; the public wants the CFPB; and, banks lose to payday lenders if the director is not confirmed.

Portland got a D- for transparency in OSPIRG Foundation's latest report. So, what now?

Voters in Oregon and across the country stood up against big money in November's elections and called for reform.

 

For the first time, the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange brought in consumers and outside experts to review their designs for their online marketplace. I was there, and here’s some of what I learned.

Is your pharmacy refilling your prescription without your knowledge or approval, and billing your insurance company for the cost? If so, it’s the latest example of waste we shouldn't tolerate in our health care system.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Excellent news! The CFPB is now taking complaints about credit bureaus and credit reports. And unlike the FTC, the CFPB has been given tools so that it will be able to "help consumers with individual-level complaint assistance on issues with their credit report."

Given the confused campus card marketplace, students often have a hard time finding the right card and end up with an account littered with fees and inconveniences. Here is a list of Dos and Don'ts to enable students to navigate the marketplace and be aware of the tricks and traps of these cards.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Discover Card has paid a $14 million civil penalty to the CFPB and FDIC, plus refunded over $200 million to ripped-off consumers, in the latest case involving useless, junk credit insurance and credit monitoring add-ons that consumers didn't buy-- but paid for.