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Health Insurance Prices To Be Much Higher in 2016

The Oregon Insurance Division released final 2016 health insurance rates Wednesday. And they’re significantly higher.

Last year was tough for Oregon’s health insurance companies. They spent about $130 million dollars more than they collected.

The result is that prices for next year will be higher.

PacificSource, for example, will have a 37 percent increase.

On the other hand, Kaiser asked for a 2 percent reduction in rates, but the Oregon Insurance Division decided it needed an increase.

Jesse O’Brien with the consumer group OSPIRG is worried consumers will be whipsawed by prices.

"We’re quite concerned about the impact that some of these large rate increases will have on the consumers," he said. "We expressed to Oregon’s regulators that we thought it would be more appropriate if rates need to go up, for them to go up on a more gradual basis.”

The Oregon Insurance Division said the rate increases are needed to make sure health insurance companies cover their costs.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.