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One less company but new plans coming to insurance marketplace

Phil Wright

East Oregonian

Published on September 21, 2017 7:06PM

Last changed on September 21, 2017 9:39PM

In 2018, Eastern Oregon counties will be down to two insurance options through HealthCare.gov.

Moda Health and Providence Health Plan will continue offering plans on the health insurance marketplace to almost all counties, according to information from the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, while Bridgespan Health Co. will drop out of most of the state.

The department’s table of county-by-county coverage for 2018 shows Bridgespan will remain in the marketplace in just three urban counties — Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington. The Oregonian in June reported Regence BlueCross BlueShield and its affiliate Bridgespan started informing customers that due to market uncertainty they would pull out of most counties in 2018.

Elizabeth Cronen, spokesperson for the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, said Moda and Providence will also sell 2018 plans in Umatilla and Morrow counties outside of HealthCare.gov, as will Health Net, Regence and Bridgespan.

That’s two carriers on the exchange and five carriers in the off-exchange market for Umatilla and Morrow counties and the rest of Eastern Oregon.

Cronen also said financial assistance is available only on the exchange, and she noted the number of carriers are not the same as the number of plans available.

“Carriers offer multiple plans to choose from,” she said in an email. “On exchange, they usually offer at least three different plans.”

Josh Goller said that’s the upshot of the exchange in 2018. He’s the benefit department manager with Simmons Insurance Group, Hermiston.

“We do have some new plans that weren’t available last year,” he said.

The health insurance marketplace in Oregon has offered the state’s standardized bronze, silver and gold plans, he said, but starting in 2018 the options expand with a few more plans.

Goller also encouraged anyone with insurance through HealthCare.gov to double check to see if their plan changes next year. Under the state’s rollover process, he said, “they may get stuck with a plan that’s not what they wanted.”

Open enrollment via Healthcare.gov begins Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15. After that, however, according to the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, you still can buy a health plan if you qualify for a special enrollment period. Plans sold during open enrollment go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The state’s marketplace website also reported previews of plans and prices will be available shortly before open enrollment commences.

For more information, visit healthcare.oregon.gov.


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