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
People living in the United States have access to some of the best medical care in the world, from life-saving drugs to cutting-edge surgical techniques. But our system is deeply flawed, with spiraling costs forcing many Americans to spend more on care and often receiving poor quality care for all the extra money spent.
Oregon's Drug Price Transparency Program has released its first annual report. The progam found that Oregonians, on average, pay five times the highest international price for prescriptions.
OSPIRG Health Care Advocate Numi Griffith breaks down how health insurance reduced her medical bills by over $16,000 after a climbing accident.
It's open enrollment season for health insurance in Oregon's individual market, from November 1 until December 15th. What's new in the marketplace, and what do you need to know in order to gt covered?
The Fifth Circuit head oral arguments in the Texas v. Azar Lawsuit on July 9, 2019. Oregon has a lot at stake if the Affordable Care Act is overturned - hundreds of thousands of consumers will face higher premiums or lose insurance outright, and dozens of important cosumer protections could be rolled back.
A prescription medication in Oregon, on average, costs five times as much as the most expensive international price. OSPIRG is calling on the Department of Consumer and Business Services to improve transparency by compelling drug manufacturers to publish their profits, among other information.
Health Care | U.S. PIRG
In our politically divided time, it's difficult to see where we can find common ground. But the need to value the work of caring for our loved ones is one such place. PIRG Senior Director of New Economy Campaigns Evan Preston explains in his blog, "Toward Consensus on Caregiving."
- The Real Price of Medication
- 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
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