In the news

The Oregonian
Nick Budnick

State officials are holding a hearing Wednesday to receive public comment on rules for the state's health insurance exchange -- essentially an online marketplace for consumers called for by federal health reforms.

Starting October 2013, the state's exchange, called Cover Oregon, will offer standardized plans to help consumers choose between carriers; the plans will be rated bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Some consumers will qualify for tax credits to offset premiums.

On Wednesday, the Oregon Insurance Division will take testimony on proposed rules for the bronze and silver plans starting at 9:30 a.m. in Conference Room 260 at 350 Winter St NE in Salem. Written comments can be submitted through Dec. 7.

A coalition including AARP Oregon, the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, the Oregon Center for Public Policy and two locals of the Service Employees International Union have submitted comments indicating the proposed rules would undermine the exchange by allowing insurance companies too much leeway in determining costs to consumers, making it difficult for an apples-to-apples comparison.

Written comments or requests to submit testimony by phone should be directed to Sue Munson, 350 Winter Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97301, 503-947-7272.

The Oregon Insurance Division has more information online on the rules and how they were developed.

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