New Oregon consumer protection laws take effect on January 1, costs unclear

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(The Center Square) – Several new consumer protection laws will take effect on January 1, 2024 managed by the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR), part of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS):

Senate Bill (SB) 82 — The law requires homeowners’ insurance agencies to formally explain why they are increasing a rate or refusing to renew a policy.

Additionally, it requires insurers to give people 36 months to repair, replace, or rebuild property lost due to fires subject to an order of the Emergency Conflagration Act. Plus, it bans insurance companies from using statewide wildfire risk maps published by the Oregon Department of Forestry as a reason for canceling or declining to renew a policy or increasing premiums.

SB 192 — The law directs the state’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board to make a plan for a payment ceiling to reduce prescription drug costs in the state. Pharmacy benefit managers must provide price transparency reports to DCBS.

“Pharmacy benefit managers will report annually to DCBS about certain rebates, fees, price protection payments, and other payments received from prescription drug manufacturers, shedding more light on the effect of industry practices on the prices Oregonians pay for drugs,” the release said.

SB 536 — The law creates new disclosure obligations for annuity sales in Oregon. It also allows for the sale of index-linked annuities.

SB 628 — The law requires health insurers to cover specific types of treatments for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections.

SB 797 — The law requires health insurance policies to cover what it says are medically necessary prosthetic and orthotic devices.

SB 1041 — The law bars health insurance plans from imposing cost-sharing measures on supplemental and diagnostic breast examinations if the plans cover them.

SB 1529 — The law requires health insurance plans to cover three primary care or behavioral health visits each year with a co-pay of no more than $5. It also requires health insurers to automatically assign people a primary care provider if they do not pick one after the first 90 days of being enrolled in their plan.

HB 2002 — The law creates a right to reproductive health decisions, including abortion, and says that people can file civil action lawsuits to enforce this right.

It also made a statutory requirement for health insurers to cover gender-affirming treatment and bars medical malpractice insurers from “taking adverse action against health care providers for providing reproductive health or gender-affirming care services that are legal in Oregon,” the release said.

HB 2052 — The law requires the state’s data brokers to register with DCBS before they collect, sell or license-brokered personal data in Oregon.

HB 2282 — The law updates the state’s codification of the Affordable Care Act’s preventative services coverage requirements in case the ACA gets repealed federally.

HB 2574 — The law bans cost sharing in health insurance plans for coverage of post-exposure prophylactic drugs for the prevention of HIV.

It also makes all Oregon hospitals develop policies and procedures for dispensing post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) drugs. Plus, it requires the Oregon Health Authority to provide PEP drugs to Type A and B rural hospitals for free.

HB 2982 — The law mandates that homeowners insurance issuers offer 70% of property contents coverage without making policyholders submit an inventory if a total loss happens as a result of a declared disaster.

HB 2994 — The law expands insurance coverage of bilateral cochlear implants, hearing aids, and other hearing assistive technology.

It also requires health insurance companies to provide reimbursement for these products if prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional or purchased over the counter.

Many of these policies will make insurance more expensive and it is unclear how they will be paid for except by the insurance companies raising rates.

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