NU Online News Service, Oct. 17, 5:22 p.m. – The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services Insurance Division held a hearing last week on a new rule that should cut some cut red tape for state-regulated health insurers.

The proposed rule, OAR 836?053-0001, would permit health insurers to change their health plans without sending out policy discontinuation notices.

Under the old rules, a health insurer that made even small changes had to give policyholders 180 days’ notice and offer replacement coverage.

“These provisions required a carrier to give a notice of discontinuance regardless of the practical significance or effects of the policy change,” the Oregon division says in a statement posted on the Web, at http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/ins/docs/rules/proposed/modify_benefit_plan_need.pdf

A new state law, based on the bill H.B. 3126, reduced the notification burden. Under the new law, carriers must give policyholders discontinuation notices only if a change or changes will affect the actuarial valuation of a health benefit plan by 5% or more.