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State Of Oregon Lifts Restrictions On Health Insurer Moda

File photo of Moda Tower in Portland.
Cacophony
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Wikimedia Commons - bit.ly/1XeusCS
File photo of Moda Tower in Portland.

Customers of Portland-based health insurance company Moda should rest assured their policies will be honored. That was the message from state regulators Monday after they announced a consent order meant to keep the company afloat.

Last month Oregon ordered Moda Health Plan to stop selling new policies. Regulators ordered the company to come up with a plan to secure capital after the insurer spent much of its reserves. The state now says Moda has done that. The company agreed to a plan that would raise $179 million, in part by selling some of its assets.

State Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali told the Oregon House Health Care Committee that the plan should mean uninterrupted coverage for Moda's Oregon customers.

"That was really important to us in terms of being able to go out to the public and say you not only can keep your policy, but you should feel comfortable that your claims will be paid and you'll be able to continue to see your doctor,” Cali said.

In a statement, Moda CEO Robert Gootee said the company is pleased to have reached an agreement with the state on a path forward. Part of the deal says that Moda needs the state's permission before awarding any executive salary increases.

The Oregon Department of Business Services, which oversees the insurance industry, said it “retains the ability to take swift action” if Moda doesn’t complete all of the requirements outlined in the consent order.

“Our utmost concern is protecting Oregon policyholders,” DCBS director Patrick Allen said.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.