SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton

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Oregon's Health CO-OP lowering small group base rates by 14%

Starting April 1, Oregon's Health CO-OP will give small businesses of 50 or fewer employees even more flexibility

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, and nowhere is this on greater display than in Oregon. According to Employment Department labor stats, nearly 40% of Oregon's workforce works for companies of 50 or fewer people. Supporting this entrepreneurial spirit is important to Oregon's Health CO-OP. When small businesses asked for more affordable small group health insurance rates, the CO-OP, with its commitment to listening, did what it could to deliver on the request—reducing rates on small group plans by 14%, effective April 1, 2014.

More flexibility equals greater opportunity for small businesses

According to CEO Dr. Ralph Prows, now is the right time for Oregon's Health CO-OP to lower small group rates, especially in light of how it will impact small and micro businesses.

"We understand the role that small businesses play throughout the state. As the economy picks up, these businesses continue to create and experience new employment and growth opportunities. We want to play our part in encouraging this momentum," said Dr. Prows. 

As a non-profit health insurer, a key organizational mandate for Oregon's Health CO-OP is to be an integrated solution that promotes greater health for all Oregonians. In providing lower small group rates, the CO-OP will be helping small and micro businesses redirect their costs savings toward accomplishing any number of strategic goals, from completing technology upgrades to hiring new employees, to opening new storefronts.

"As we see it, if business owners can save on health insurance costs and still enjoy the same great coverage, then we're all for it," Dr. Prows says. "In the end, the money they save will find its way into Oregon communities, creating a win for everyone."

Networks and coverage will remain the same

Key to the CO-OP's decision to lower small group plan rates rests in the fact that the plans themselves will not change.

"We are not watering down our product," Dr. Prows says. "People will still have access to the same broad statewide and national networks, the same comprehensive benefits, and the same innovative plan design. This really comes down to figuring out new ways to save our small group clients money so they can reinvest in their businesses and their people."

For immediate quotes with the 14% rate reduction, small employer groups and brokers can visit http://www.ohcoop.org/shop-for-plans, and use the site's easy online quoting tool. They can also contact a CO-OP representative at [email protected].

SOURCE Oregon’s Health CO-OP

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