health insurance

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

In recent years, people who buy health insurance on the individual market have experienced steep premium hikes, higher deductibles and increases in other out-of-pocket expenses. At the same time, Washington’s three biggest nonprofit insurers have amassed nearly $4.5 billion dollars in surpluses.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The federal government has approved a key waiver that will allow Oregon to proceed with a program designed to blunt the cost of health insurance plans purchased on the individual market.

TVW

People who buy individual health insurance in Washington state can expect another round of rate hikes next year.

“I’d say double-digit [increases] are almost a certainty,” state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in an interview Thursday on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” program.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The share of Oregonians and Washingtonians without health insurance has dropped dramatically under Obamacare. The uninsured rate is now at a historic low in the West Coast states.

Idaho has missed out on that trend, largely because the state until now has refused to expand Medicaid eligibility on the federal dime. Idaho's Republican-controlled legislature was teetering Friday on whether to end its holdout.

Cacophony / Wikimedia Commons - bit.ly/1XeusCS

Customers of Portland-based health insurance company Moda should rest assured their policies will be honored. That was the message from state regulators Monday after they announced a consent order meant to keep the company afloat.

TaxRebate.org.uk

With the start of a new year comes an increase in health care costs for many local employers and workers. The average increase for 2016 health plan premiums reviewed by the state insurance departments of Oregon, Washington and Idaho significantly exceeded the rate of inflation.

Wikimedia

A group that's lobbying for expanded health coverage said the number of uninsured Oregonians may be higher than previously thought.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon will become the first state in the nation to let patients get up to a year's worth of prescription birth control at a time.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

By 2018, the state of Washington should have a treasure trove of data on the cost and quality of health care.

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

After a rocky start, Washington’s health plan finder website is now running smoothly. That’s according to a spokesman for the state’s Health Benefit Exchange.

Cover Oregon

Nearly $500 million.

That’s how much the federal government has awarded Washington, Oregon and Idaho to create health benefit exchanges. These are the new web portals to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act. It’s a costly undertaking that involves six-figure salaries, hefty IT contracts and high-end advertising campaigns.

If a green, talking gecko can sell car insurance, then maybe Portland-based folk singer Laura Gibson can sell health insurance.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The man who identified the quietest place in the Lower 48 - dubbed the "One Square Inch of Silence" - is going deaf. This Olympic Peninsula fellow campaigned against noise pollution, particularly at his symbolic spot in the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park. The self-described "Sound Tracker" is now in a race to edit his life's work before he loses more of his hearing.

For Gordon Hempton, it started with a common experience -- having to keep saying, "What, what?" Then the stakes got higher.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

SHELTON, Wash. - It’s one of the most vexing problems state lawmakers face: how to curb the rising cost of healthcare. In Washington, there’s one specific line item in the healthcare budget that’s startling, but few at the Capitol are talking about: taxpayers now foot the bill for more than half of all births in Washington. But why is that number is so high?

At Mason General Hospital northwest of Olympia, a newborn baby protests as a nurse checks his temperature and his diaper. Jack arrived three weeks early after his mom – Carly Earles – endured a miserable pregnancy.

Patients Rush To Have Surgery Before New Year Resets Clock

Dec 24, 2012
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

One of the busiest places to be this time of year is the operating room. But it's not because of holiday accidents. Huge numbers of patients have surgery in December by choice.

Dr. Tim Smith is a sinus surgeon at Oregon Health and Science University. The week before Christmas this year, he performed 10 surgeries in three days.

“We joke with one another that people think it's busy at the mall this time of year, they ought to check out their outpatient surgery centers.”