Individual health insurance rates could see large increase

Southern Oregon — If you get your  individual health insurance plan off the marketplace in Southern Oregon, you could be seeing some large rate increases next year.

According to Joe Hubbard with Protector’s Insurance, part of the reason health insurance rates could be going up in 2019, is because people will no longer be required to have health insurance starting January 1st.

Joe Hubbard is an independent insurance agent at Protector’s Insurance in Medford.

“We look at the coverage for them, and help them find the best rate and the broadest coverage for them,” Hubbard said.

When it comes to health insurance, he says it’s common for rates to increase or decrease from year to year, but those with individual plans could be seeing a large increase next year.

“The largest provider of health insurance in the state right now of individual health is Providence and they filed a 13.6 rate increase,” Hubbard said.

That increase would be in your premium each month.

Hubbard says part of the reason is due to the upcoming changes involving the Affordable Care Act.

“In 2019, the individual mandate is going away requiring people to purchase the insurance,” Hubbard said.

Since insurance companies don’t know how the market could be impacted, it’s safer to increase rates.

But there are other options for those with individual insurance.

Hubbard says one example is what’s called a “pool” that’s most often advertised as a christian group.

“It’s not an insurance company, but it’s a pool of individuals that have come together under these plans and you pay for your insurance through these groups,” Hubbard said.

As for individual plans, the rate changes aren’t official yet.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services will make a final decision this summer.\

The four individual health insurance carriers in Southern Oregon include Providence, Moda, Regence and Pacific Source. Their proposed increase rates are as follows:

  • Moda = 6.4% (increase)
  • PacificSource = -9.6% (decrease)
  • Providence = 13.6% (increase)
  • Regence = 5.0% (increase)

If you’d like to make a public comment on the proposed rate increases before they are official, visit oregonhealthrates.org between May 23rd and July 9th.

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