health insurance

Medical Debt
7:47 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Healthcare Reform Leaves Widespread Medical Debt Largely Untouched

District Court Judge Kevin Roy says medical debt comprises well over half the court files awaiting his signature each week.
Credit Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest News Network

At the Yakima County courthouse, Presiding District Court Judge Kevin Roy walks past a rattling dot-matrix printer and long rows of color-coded folders to a shelf of files awaiting his signature. “If I was to pull one of these files, Judge Roy says, taking one from the shelf, “Yep, Memorial Physicians, PLLC. That’s not by luck.”

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Premera Blue Cross
4:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Wash. Insurance Commissioner To Investigate Premera Blue Cross

The multi-state investigation of Premera Blue Cross will be led by Washington state insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler.
Credit TGPRN Premera Blue Cross / Associated Press

Washington state insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler announced Tuesday he’ll lead a multi-state investigation of Premera Blue Cross. That follows the cyber attack that may have compromised the social security numbers and medical information of 11 million customers in January.

Kreidler said Premera owes the public a more detailed explanation.

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Cover Oregon
4:48 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Vote To Dissolve Health Insurance Exchange

Cover Oregon, the state's health exchange, could seen be dismantled.
Cover Oregon

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 10:40 pm

Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange is one step closer to being dismantled.

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Cover Oregon
5:10 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Oregon Legislators to Shutter 'Cover Oregon'

The state's failed health insurance exchange, Cover Oregon, will be coming to an end.
Credit Cover Oregon

One of the first things legislators are expected to do when the session starts next week, is to put an end to 'Cover Oregon'. The state's failed health insurance exchange.

Speaking about the up-coming session, Democrats, Republicans and Governor John Kitzhaber all agree: 'Cover Oregon' is finished.

"What we'll simply be doing is folding the remaining functions of what was 'Cover Oregon' into the insurance division," Kitzhaber said.

The leader of the Senate Republicans, Ted Ferrioli, agreed.

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Direct Primary Care
7:59 am
Fri December 19, 2014

For Some Employers, A New Health Care Trend Means Healthier Employees

Mike Hoon leads a staff meeting at Emerald Care nursing home.
Credit Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

There's a small but growing trend in healthcare--a trend where doctors are paid differently, so they can focus on a relationship with their patients, and where patients are able to see doctors without worrying  about the cost.

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Health and Wellness
5:20 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Oregon Congressman Pushes End-Of-Life Conversations

Legislators are working to try to allow doctors to bill health insurance companies for end-of-life conversations.
Credit Flickr

Currently, if a doctor wants to talk to a patient about dying, he or she has to do it off-the-clock. They can't bill insurance companies for the time.

Portland Democrat, Earl Blumenauer, says he has 60 co-sponsors for his bill to allow such conversations to be covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

"It will pay for a 93-year-old woman with terminal cancer to have her hip replaced, but it won't pay a couple of hundred bucks for the doctor to have a conversation with this woman and her family to find out what her wishes are," he said.

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Health Care
6:14 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Washington Insurer Settles Suit Over Autism Treatment

Families with autistic children took Regence BlueShield to court in Washington over its failure to cover autism treatment.
Credit bloomsberries / Flickr

The biggest health insurance company in Washington, Regence BlueShield, has settled a pair of class action lawsuits for $6 million.

Families with autistic children took the company to court over its failure to cover a treatment known as 'Applied Behavioral Therapy.' It involves extensive one-on-one work between a child and a therapist, and can cost $50,000 a year or more.

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Cover Oregon
7:53 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Cover Oregon Officials To Face State Lawmakers

State lawmakers are set to grill the leaders of Cover Oregon on Monday and Tuesday.
Credit Cover Oregon

The leaders of Oregon's struggling health insurance exchange will be grilled by state lawmakers in a series of hearings at the capitol on Monday and Tuesday.

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Idaho Medicaid
7:41 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Medicaid Payment Woes Plague Idaho Mental-Health Providers

Taylor Moore, a 30-year-old Boise resident with a mental-health diagnosis, reads questions on a vocational-rehab services application at the library in Downtown Boise, with assistance from Maegan Wagner, his community-based rehabilitation services worker through Idaho Behavioral Health. The agency has experienced a pattern of problems over several months getting paid for a variety of services, sometimes getting pennies back on a $100 claim. Optum Idaho said it has corrected the problem.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The state’s effort to rein in Medicaid costs has created deep friction between small businesses that deliver behavioral-health services to Medicaid patients and a new contractor hired to manage them.

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5:34 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Insurance Commissioner: Wash. Health Plans Must Cover Services For Transgender People

Health plans in Washington State can’t refuse to cover services for transgender people if the same procedures are covered for others.
Credit Alex Proimos / Wikimedia

Health plans in Washington state can’t refuse to cover services for transgender people if the same procedures are covered for others. That’s the message from the state insurance commissioner, who says he’ll take action against insurers who don’t comply.

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