Not discussed is the role of mandatory benefits, which the Oregon legislature has been laying on to health plans: hearing aids, and oral anti-cancer drugs (which was imposed without the legally required cost analysis). Are these worth what they cost? We’ll never know, because the legislature has decided that people will not be able to negotiate benefits with health plans.
Nor does the discussion include the effect of the federal “stimulus” plan, which includes a huge subsidy for COBRA continuation coverage that I predicted would drive up small-group premiums. I have little doubt that this is also a factor.
This blog post originally appeared on State House Call.