Product changes expected to improve premium affordability
PORTLAND, Ore – Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon has notified the Oregon Insurance Division and the Oregon Family Health Insurance Assistance Program of an upcoming discontinuation of select Individual insurance products.
Beginning October 1, 2012, Regence will commence a 12-month rolling discontinuation of the following plans in the Individual market:
- Evolve Plus (All deductibles)
- Evolve Core ($1,000 deductible)
“We’ve heard from our members time and again that affordable monthly premiums are critical during these difficult economic times. We expect these changes to give our members some relief they’ve been asking for,” said Don Antonucci, President of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. “Our members can’t afford to continue paying higher and higher monthly premiums. We have to try to slow that trend, and we believe this is a step in that process.”
Regence members currently enrolled in these plans should expect to receive courtesy letters in the coming week and detailed membership packets to follow, in accordance with state statute.
It’s important to note that we recognize the impact discontinuation of the Evolve Plus $1,000 deductible will have on those members receiving premium assistance through Oregon’s FHIAP program, as this change means that Regence will no longer offer a FHIAP-eligible Individual product. To provide these members the smoothest possible transition, we are working closely with FHIAP and have established a dedicated hotline to answer questions. Members currently receiving subsidies from FHIAP can contact FHIAP or call us directly at 1-888-344-8235 for personalized care and assistance.
“Discontinuing these Individual products for our FHIAP-eligible members was not an easy decision to make and we recognize the difficulties that it presents to those struggling to afford coverage. We established this 1-800 number to help these members better evaluate their options,” said Antonucci.
While these changes represent a step toward more affordable care for a little more than half of our Individual members, we believe it’s going to take further cooperation to truly make a difference. Doctors and hospitals must do their part by reducing the rising medical utilization and costs that lead to higher premiums. Consumers must begin shopping for health care like they shop for groceries, with cost in mind, and asking questions about value. And, as insurers, we too are focused on our responsibility to manage health care costs while supporting our members’ wellness.
These plan changes, received by approximately 30,000 Individual members, do not affect offerings in the Group or Medicare lines of business, nor do they affect plans in Clark County, Washington.
About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a leading health plan in Oregon, with approximately 730,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving nearly 2.5 million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Each plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or www.twitter.com/RegenceOregon