Oregon Public Broadcasting

A health insurance company, which the state is stopping from further reducing its prices, is crying foul.

Oregon's Health Co-Op wanted to cut its health insurance costs by 21 percent next year. But the Oregon Insurance Division only permitted a 9.9 percent cut.

The state's insurance division director, Laura Cali, said the agency has to make sure companies have rates that are high enough to cover their costs, "So they can pay their claims and so that they'll be around next year to continue offering that coverage," she said.

But Co-Op president Ralph Prows is frustrated.

He said he had top actuaries work for months to design new innovative insurance plans, but the state didn't give them the chance to explain their findings. "This process just didn't work. It also didn't work last year," he said.

"So I am asking that we work together to fix this process so it actually works and comes to the best decision and the best result for consumers."

The state does offer insurance companies the chance to appeal. But that takes months and new insurance plans have to be submitted to the state in less than four weeks.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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