In response to the Oregon Insurance Division’s decision on Regence’s Individual Filing

Today, the Oregon Insurance Division informed Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon that it has approved an average rate increase for our Individual members of 8.9%.  This rate change will be effective December 1, 2012 for approximately 52,000 members across the state. This rate change does not affect members who receive insurance coverage through an employer or government program like Medicare.

As the cost of care continues to push premiums higher, it reinforces the pressing need for a more person-focused, quality driven and economically sustainable approach to health care in Oregon. As we work to reduce our costs and reward providers for quality health outcomes, we ask for the support of doctors, hospitals, elected officials, other insurance companies, and all other health care stakeholders to step forward to make health care more affordable.

I’d like to personally thank our members for their business and their participation in controlling health care costs. You are a key component to the cost puzzle and your level of engagement in this effort is unmatched. We know that you have many choices for your health insurance needs and we appreciate that you continue to select Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon.

Much has been made of our new approach to provider pricing in the Portland metropolitan area. We would expect nothing less, as this is an innovative initiative never before seen in the Oregon Individual marketplace, and another step in an ongoing journey toward improved affordability, access and quality care.

We encourage our members to contact our dedicated hotline (1-888-675-6570) with trained customer service representatives should they have any questions about the impact of this rate change. We’ve also designed a specific webpage with detailed information on each of our five Oregon Select provider networks.