Oregon & Washington | Spring | 2009 | Health Plan Analysis

Health insurers in Oregon and Washington are paying special attention to pricing in 2009 in order to maintain their customer base, but are also casting a wary eye to any blip in medical costs as the individual market grows. At the same time, the new subsidy for COBRA coverage will keep a small number of those who might otherwise be uninsured onto group policies. Aetna's market head for Washington, meanwhile, says his company is seeing a lot of interest in consumer-driven health plan designs there. Regence, which operates BlueCross BlueShield plans in Oregon and Washington, has established guidelines for evaluating genetic tests for its members. Molina Healthcare has been successfully using a formulated injectable version of a drug that helps to prevent premature births. Molina is the largest Medicaid managed care plan in Washington and says the 17P drug's cost are negligible and the drug has proved to be about 33 percent effective.