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.
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