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Today’s decision is good news for consumers in Oregon. Young adults can stay on their parent’s plans until age 26. Insurance companies will have to keep spending at least 80% of premium dollars on care. They can’t go back to the days of denying coverage to sick children. And in 2014, the days of insurers being able to deny anyone coverage for “pre-existing conditions” will be history.
Now it’s time to move forward on the next steps, and make sure health reform delivers lower costs and better quality coverage.
The most important work must be done right here, in Oregon. Health care still costs more than it should. We can do better on quality. And we have more to do to make sure consumers and small businesses get a fair shake in the marketplace.
Here’s where Oregon should go from here:
Make insurance companies meet high standards to justify their rate hikes. Thanks new rules that went into effect in 2010, Oregon has put more than $37 million back into consumers’ pockets in recent years by reining in excessive premium increases. But much more can be done to push insurers to cut costs — not by raising deductibles or cutting care, but by cutting waste and focusing on prevention.
Continue to move ahead with Oregon’s health insurance exchange – one of our best shots to clean up health care. Done right, the exchange will be a competitive health insurance marketplace where consumers and businesses can join together to negotiate lower costs and better coverage.
Lead the way on lowering costs while improving care. Governor Kitzhaber’s plan to transform the health system, starting with the Oregon Health Plan, holds tremendous promise. Oregon must move ahead with this effort to deliver better coordinated care that focuses on prevention so each patient stays their healthiest.
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