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|Articles - May 2013|
|Monday, April 29, 2013|
Page 5 of 5
The Affordable Care Act gets underway in earnest starting next January, and Oregon is leaping ahead of most states to comply. The federal government granted the state $226 million to set up Cover Oregon, a health insurance exchange that will initially serve only the individual and small group markets. It intends to enable small companies to offer employees various levels of choice to shop for the plan they prefer. Cover Oregon will coordinate payment of premiums between the employer and the mix of plans selected. In April the Obama administration announced that states could delay the rollout of small-employer exchanges until 2015, but Oregon’s exchange will be implemented as planned next year, according to Lisa Morawski, Cover Oregon’s communications manager.
Oregon has also moved swiftly to approve 15 coordinated care organizations (CCOs) to serve Oregon Health Plan and Healthy Kids plan members in 90% of the state. CCOs are networks of doctors, therapists, dentists and other professionals who have banded together to ensure local at-risk patients get effective treatment for chronic illnesses, receive preventative care and avoid the emergency room.
Although CCOs are designed to reduce costs, other ACA provisions could initially raise prices in the individual insurance market. That’s because the law will remove pre-existing conditions as a reason for denying coverage and mandate expansion of benefits, such as covering prescription drugs, and mental health services, and providing preventive care without a copay or deductible. Premiums for older plan members must be no more than three times those of younger members, lowering costs for the old but probably raising them for the young. Federal premium tax credits will offset some of the cost increases.
Even as state and national reforms move forward, it’s impossible to say whether these changes will meet their dual goals of delivering quality care to everyone while controlling costs. More than most states, Oregon is on a path to do just that. But for now, cost shifting, expensive technologies and the demands of an aging population continue to place an untenable burden on the state’s health care system.
SOURCE: U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
SOURCE: THE KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION; CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy. “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.
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