HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that the Oregon Educators Benefit Board has awarded three-year contracts for medical and pharmaceutical coverage to Providence Health Plans, Kaiser Northwest and ODS Health Plan, along with Willamette Dental for dental care. The contracts are the result of a 2007 law that created a mandatory insurance pool for school districts starting October 2008. According to the latest Oregon and Washington Health Plan Analysis, these awards will change the landscape of the Oregon health plan market as the state's largest insurer, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, was not included in the contract.

According to the report, Regence BlueCross BlueShield will likely lose about 100,000 members as current members move to the new Oregon Educators Benefit Board plans.

This is the first time the Board has created a single purchasing pool. Through this plan, beginning on October 1, 2008, the Board will provide medical, dental and vision benefits for more than 65,000 school and education service district employees and their dependents, totaling an estimated 165,000 covered members.

"As the first such pool to be developed, it should receive significant scrutiny not only from stakeholders in Oregon, but throughout the country," said Don Mooradian, analyst with HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report. "As public entities continue to look for ways to control spending, the Board's move will likely be monitored by public agencies outside the state looking for healthcare cost-saving solutions."

The Board awarded contracts after reviewing multiple factors, including cost, price transparency, partnership opportunity and alignment with Board objectives. Four separate request for proposals were distributed: one each for medical, dental, vision and pharmacy benefits. After reviewing 30 proposals, the Board selected carriers that enabled them to meet their plan design and cost comparability requirements, and maximize administrative efficiencies.

About Health Plan Analysis

Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing healthcare businesses to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels. Updated quarterly, Health Plan Analysis provides a detailed look at plan design and financials, as well as information about mergers, legislation and other influencers driving healthcare in a particular region.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a Decision Resources, Inc. company, is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis and news. For more information, please visit www.HealthLeaders-InterStudy.com.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at www.DecisionResourcesInc.com.

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  For more information, contact:    Lisa Osgood                              Elizabeth Marshall   HealthLeaders-InterStudy                 Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2606                             781-296-2563   losgood@hl-isy.com                       emarshall@dresources.com 

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SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

Contact: Lisa Osgood of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-781-296-2606,
losgood@hl-isy.com; Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc.,
+1-781-296-2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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