HCAO News

Health Care for All-Oregon Job Announcements

Health Care for All-Oregon seeks a half-time Executive Director and a half-time Operations and Outreach Coordinator.

Health Care for All-Oregon seeks a strategic and creative Executive Director and an Operations and Outreach Coordinator to shape, inspire, and manage the organization’s future in close collaboration with its talented team of hard working staff, enthusiastic statewide volunteers and committed Board of Directors.

The Executive Director is responsible for operations and personnel management, fundraising and fiscal oversight, board engagement and community relations, and working with a growing network of volunteers building Oregon’s health care reform movement.

Click here for a complete HCAO Executive Director Job Description

The Operations and Outreach Coordinator (OOC) is responsible for supporting the Development Officer on fundraising tasks; maintaining and growing our eTapestry database; financial transaction processing; recruiting, coordinating and nurturing office volunteers; handling phone calls and correspondence and event and project support activities.

Click here for a complete HCAO Operations and Outreach Coordinator Job Description

More information about HCAO can be found on this website and about HCAO EF here.

To apply: Send a cover letter describing why you believe you are a strong candidate for the position, a resume describing relevant education, training and employment and 3 references to: Health Care for All Oregon, 1443 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97233 or e-mail to Lee Mercer. Applications will be reviewed beginning March 1, 206.

For further information contact Lee Mercer, President, Health Care for All-Oregon, 831-818-5247,

Consumers alerted to potential scams

Incidents involve suspicious calls about Moda

Department of Consumer and Business Services / Division of Financial Regulation

Salem — The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) urges consumers to protect themselves from potential scams in light of the uncertainty caused by the financial troubles of Moda Health Plan Inc.

DCBS is aware of multiple incidents in which consumers worried about the status of their insurance with Moda receive calls from people who claim to be able to help them. The incidents involve callers who ask for personal information, including Social Security numbers, and who threaten to cut off consumers' coverage if they do not act immediately.

Consumers who receive any such calls about Moda should not provide any of their personal information. It likely is a scam. Decisions have not been made about whether Moda customers will need to find new plans. Communications about such decisions will come from either Moda or the State of Oregon.

To protect consumers and ensure claims are paid, DCBS has assumed control of Moda's financial decisions. The department is working with Moda on a plan to improve its financial condition. Once the plan is finalized, more information will be released.

In the meantime, Moda customers can continue to access services and get their claims paid.

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Insurers avoiding some of the sickest patients by using broker disincentives

Licking Wounds, Insurers Accelerate Moves To Limit Health-Law Enrollment

by Jay Hancock
Kaiser Health News, February 4, 2016
Commentary by Don McCanne for PNHP

Stung by losses under the federal health law, major insurers are seeking to sharply limit how policies are sold to individuals in ways that consumer advocates say seem to discriminate against the sickest and could hold down future enrollment.

In recent days Anthem, Aetna and Cigna, all among the top five health insurers, told brokers they will stop paying them sales commissions to sign up most customers who qualify for new coverage outside the normal enrollment period, according to the companies and broker documents.

Last year, these “special enrollment” clients were much more expensive than expected because lax enforcement allowed many who didn’t qualify to sign up, insurers said. Nearly a million special-enrollment customers selected plans in the first half of 2015, half of them after losing previous coverage.

In addition, Cigna and Humana, another big health insurer, have ceased paying brokers to sell many higher-benefit “gold” marketplace plans for individuals and families while continuing to pay commissions on more-profitable, lower-benefit “bronze” plans, according to documents and interviews.

Gold plans typically enroll sicker members than do less comprehensive policies, say insurance experts. As of June, more than 695,000 people had enrolled in gold plans.

But the retreat from broker sales, which includes last year’s decision by No. 1 carrier UnitedHealthcare to suspend almost any commissions for such business, erodes a pillar of the health law: that insurers must sell to all customers no matter how sick, consumer advocates say.

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OHSU Reform Experts Weigh in on Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act was expected to revolutionize healthcare in the US. But is access to healthcare easier? Have costs gone up or down? A Portland City Club forum puts tough questions to Oregon Health & Science University professors.

The Lund Report, January 27, 2015
by Jan Johnson

Healthcare is a $3 trillion industry in the U.S. with one out of every $5 passing through the hands of someone working in the industry, Dr. Samuel Metz of Physicians for a National Health Program, told a City Club audience Monday night.

And, everyone agreed costs are not going down. ”The best forecast I’ve seen shows healthcare (costs) will rise faster than GDP by about one percent,” a year said John McConnell, an economist who heads OHSU’s Center for Health Systems Effectiveness.

New, high-cost drugs put additional cost pressure on the system, and the stock market sees more money to be made in high-tech solutions that don’t give what McConnell called a “return on health.”

“Competition between large health systems causes us to acquire more technology,” said OHSU’s Dr. Paul Gorman. If one hospital systems buys the latest cardiac technology, competing systems buy it too – and hire staff to use it, creating what he calls “overproduction of capacity” that leads to “some cities having 10 times more procedures than other cities, not because it’s needed. We do overdo quite a lot of things.”

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