Regence Expands Limited Provider Choice for Individual Policyholders

Expanded Individual network options give members additional provider choices at a range of prices

Portland, OR – Today Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon announced it will expand provider network options for approximately 20,000 individual policyholders in the Portland Metro area. This decision is in response to customer feedback about an earlier announcement to address increased premium costs for this population of policyholders by transitioning them to select lower-cost provider network options.

“We listened to our customers and heard clearly that their concerns were not just about costs – but also about choice,” said Don Antonucci, President Regence BCBS of Oregon. “With this decision, we are restoring that choice so customers can choose providers for their family based on preference and price.”

This decision comes four weeks after an announcement was made that beginning in October, Regence would only offer two network options to individual policyholders in the Portland Metro area. The initial decision to restrict network options was part of a longer-term strategy to control premium costs for this population of policyholders in the individual market, Oregonians who do not have health insurance through their employer or spouse’s employer and are not eligible for Medicare benefits.  

Responding to customer feedback and concerns, Regence reevaluated the decision and in addition to providing Tuality and Adventist, will now offer expanded network options to include OHSU, Providence and Legacy for customers to choose. Additionally, for the first time when selecting the network option for their family’s health care needs, members will also be able to review price differences associated with the various network options in order to better assist them when making their renewal selection.  These changes will take effect on December 1, 2012 – not October as originally planned.

“We want our customers to have all of the information necessary to make the best decisions based on affordability and their health care needs,” continued Antonucci. “By expanding the network options and detailing the costs associated with those choices, customers are in more control of their health decisions than they ever have been before.”

Regence will notify all customers affected by this change to ensure members have the information they need to make the best decision for their family. The company has also established a toll-free number dedicated to customers in the individual market to assist with questions about their current plan, new options available and what the changes in benefits could mean for their provider choice and premium. That number is: 1-888-675-6570

Additional information is also available on our website at: http://www.regence.com/about/oregon-individual-product-network-changes.jsp

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a leading health plan in Oregon, with nearly 750,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and is affiliated with Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Together, the companies serve more than two million members in the Northwest/Intermountain Region. The Regence affiliated companies are committed to improving the health of its members and communities, and to transforming the health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or www.twitter.com/RegenceOregon.