Health Insurance Rate Watch Project
OSPIRG’s Health Insurance Rate Watch Project pushes health insurers to do more to cut waste and focus on prevention before they raise premiums.
Cutting waste from insurance premiums
Health care still costs more than it should. One study estimates that in 2009, $765 billion, or one-third of all health care spending, was wasted on things that did not make us healthier.  Some of that estimated waste included:
- Overinflated medical prices: $105 billion in waste. Recently, hospitals have been caught charging outrageous prices, such as $1000 for one toothbrush and $140 for a single Tylenol. 
- Duplicative treatments: $8 billion in waste. This includes the extra costs of having to get the same x-ray or MRI twice because health care is poorly coordinated.
- Excessive administrative costs and paperwork: $190 billion in waste.
Far too often, insurers simply pass those costs along to us in the form of higher premiums.
So OSPIRG pushes back to make sure health insurance companies do more to cut waste before they raise premiums. Close scrutiny of rate hike proposals already helped cut over 179 million dollars from health insurance premiums in Oregon.  Now we want to make sure that insurers do even more to bring down costs: by focusing on keeping patients healthy instead of only paying for treatments once they get sick; actively negotiating for better deals from hospitals; and doing more to cut waste.
Unfortunately, some health insurance companies are spending millions to maintain their influence in Salem. But when we’ve brought public pressure to bear on unjustified rate increases, we’ve seen results, so join us!
 OSPIRG Foundation, September 2014, Accountability in Action.
Learn more about Oregon's health insurance rate review process and sign up to get notified about major rate proposals at the Oregon Insurance Division's consumer-friendly website, www.oregonhealthrates.org
Oregon's Senate voted unanimously to advance HB 2658 to the Governor's desk, 25-0. This bill requires pharmaceutical manufactuers to provide 60-days advance notice before implementing substantial price hikes on prescription drugs. Advance notice gives patients and health benefit companies time to plan around price hikes instead of being blindsided. A similar policy in California has bee associated with rollbacks of several planned price increases over the summer of 2018.
Oregon consumers face rising health insurance premiums on the individual market, due to rising health care costs and recent changes to federal policy. A new report from OSPIRG Foundaiton and Frontier Group explores the drivers of market instability and policy options for the state to stabilize the marketplace and expand consumer choice.
New report from OSPIRG Foundation and Frontier Group details rising health care costs and federal disruptions to the individual insurance market; explores policy options to stabilize prices and expand consumer choice.
This March, the State of Oregon launched a system that allows consumers to report price increases on their prescription drugs. OSPIRG encourages consumers to report price increases on their prescriptions to the state whenever possible.
Oregon's legislature is considering several bills that could bring down the high cost of prescription drugs. OSPIRG Foundation's recent report, the "Real Price of Medications" exposed vast and illogical price variations between different pharmacies. Lawmakers should take concrete actions to address this problem, but there are steps consumers can take right now to save money on prescription drugs.
- A Better Health Insurance Market For Oregon
- OSPIRG FOUNDATION COMMENTS ON THE PROVIDENCE HEALTH PLAN PROPOSAL FOR INDIVIDUAL HEALTH RATES EFFECTIVE JANUARY 2019
- Improving Price Transparency
- OSPIRG Foundation Comments on the Providence Health Plan Proposal for Individual Health Rates Effective January 2018
- Comments on Providence Health Plan's proposal to raise individual health insurance rates
Your donation supports OSPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.