Park City, Utah (PRWEB) April 28, 2013
Today, Zane Benefits, Inc. published a new guide on the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange. Zane Benefits, which provides comprehensive and flexible alternatives to traditional employer sponsored health benefits, is the leader in defined contribution and health reimbursement arrangements.
According to Zane Benefits’ website, starting in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance coverage for individuals and small businesses will become available through new state health insurance exchanges. Most importantly, the key tax credits (e.g. the small business healthcare tax credits) and tax subsidies (e.g. individual health insurance tax subsidies) will only be available for coverage purchased via a state health insurance exchanges.
All states have three options for setting up a state health insurance exchange for 2014:
- Build a State-Based Exchange
- Enter into a State-Federal Partnership Exchange
- Default to a Federally-Facilitated Exchange
According to Zane Benefits’ website, Oregon plans to offer a state-based exchange called Cover Oregon. The Exchange will open in October 2013, for coverage starting January 1, 2013.
Oregon Health Insurance Exchange - What is it?
According to Zane Benefits’ website, Cover Oregon will be a health insurance marketplace where Oregon individuals and small businesses can shop for health insurance plans and access financial assistance to help pay for coverage. According to the Exchange, the mission of Cover Oregon is "improving the health of all Oregonians by providing health coverage options, increasing access to information, and fostering quality and value in the health care system."
For individuals, Cover Oregon will provide “apples-to-apples” comparisons of health plans, providing a grading system for each plan to make policies easier to compare side by side. According to the Oregon Health Authority the estimated number of uninsured Oregonians in 2011 was 560,000 (14.6%).
For small businesses, Cover Oregon will serve employers with 50 or fewer employees in 2014 and beginning in 2016, up to 100 employees. Oregon’s small employers account for more than 50 percent of the private sector jobs in Oregon, but as health care costs continue to increase, only about 34 percent with fewer than 10 employees offer health insurance (Small Business Administration).
Oregon Health Insurance Exchange - How was it Formed?
According to Zane Benefits’ website, on June 17, 2011, Governor John Kitzhaber signed SB 99 into law establishing the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Corporation. That same month, the Governor signed SB 91, which specified requirements of health insurer carriers offering coverage in the state. On March 6, 2012, the legislature passed HB 4164 to approve the final version of the Exchange’s business plan. On October 1, 2012, the Exchange announced that its new name would be Cover Oregon. On December 7, 2012, Oregon received conditional approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a state-based exchange.
The legislation defines Oregon’s Exchange as a quasi-governmental organization, specifically a "public corporation performing governmental functions and exercising governmental powers."
Oregon Health Insurance Exchange - How Much Will Insurance Cost?
According to Zane Benefits’ website, through Cover Oregon, individuals will be able to purchase policies and access the available individual health insurance tax credits. Cover Oregon provides a calculator on their website to estimate the cost of policies. As an example, a family of three with a household gross income of $47,500 would pay $309/month.
Oregon Health Insurance Exchange - What Plans Will Be Available?
According to Zane Benefits’ website, all plans will meet state and federal requirements, such as offering bronze, silver, gold and platinum qualified health plans. On April 2, 2013 the Exchange said that 22 carriers had confirmed intent of providing plans through the Exchange including PacificSource Health Plans, Premier Access Insurance Co., Providence Health Plan and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon.
About Zane Benefits
Zane Benefits was founded in 2006 to provide a revolutionized SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) administration platform ("ZaneHRA") for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and defined contribution health care. The flagship software provides a 100% paperless administration experience to employers and insurance professionals that want to offer better health benefits without a traditional group health insurance plan at lower costs. For more information about ZaneHRA, visit http://www.zanebenefits.com.