(Portland, Ore.) – Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is excited to support Gov. Kitzhaber’s health care initiatives, and the passage and signing of House Bill 3650 and Senate Bill 99. Oregonians deserve access to quality-based medical care at an affordable price, and these bills help deliver on both.

Quality-based care is more important now than ever. As medical costs continue rise, Oregonians can no longer afford to pay for treatment that doesn’t improve their health. House Bill 3650 will help transform the way care is delivered, by refocusing the payment system around improving health outcomes, and coordinating preventative treatment that’s vital to the management of chronic disease.

“Experience has shown that when chronic illnesses are managed with preventative care, patient health improves at a higher rate, and larger costs associated with untreated conditions are reduced,” said Jared Short, President, BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. “We, as Oregonians, need to control these costs if we hope to make health care in this state more affordable.”

As H.B. 3650 works to improve the way care is delivered, S.B. 99 will help provide more affordable access and tools to evaluate health insurance plans for individuals and small businesses. In passing this legislation, Oregon is paving the way to better choices for thousands who may look to find coverage in the Exchange. Providing these groups with increased control over their health care needs and decision making is the type of flexibility Regence strives to provide with our own members.

Regence is proud to have recently launched a new product called Employee Choice. Similar to the Exchange model, this product allows small businesses to offer a wide array of coverage options to their employees. Employees will have more control over their health care decisions, allowing them to select the type of coverage that best meets their needs, while controlling cost.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon congratulates Governor Kitzhaber and the Oregon State Legislature in passing these bills, and pledges its commitment to work with key stakeholders to implement these changes effectively to increase quality, reduce cost, and improve transparency for Oregonians.

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a leading health plan in Oregon, with more than 750,000 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.