Consumer Protection in Private Health Insurance: The Role of Consumer Complaints. D. Public education activities



The Insurance Division produces the following material relevant to health insurance complaints:

Consumer Guide to Oregon Insurance Complaints - This is the most popular of the complaints publications. In the three weeks since the report covering 1998 complaints became available, the Division mailed out 1,800 copies. The Unit receives written and phone requests with publicity also generated through the SHIBA program. The demand for hard copy reports may be decreasing slightly as more people access the report electronically. However it is not possible to measure the number of Internet hits to the specific Guide page.

Oregon Complaint Report Part II - While this report (costing $25) is distributed to all major libraries in the state, it does not generate substantial demand (possibly 25 requests annually). It appears to be most popular with insurance companies and other groups interested in monitoring the relative performance of insurance plans including differences in the disposition rates of complaints. It does not appear to be requested by individual consumers.

Oregon Insurance Division - Protecting the Insurance Buying Public - This brochure lists the general services provided by the Division and contact details.

Free Help with Medicare and Other Health Insurance Brochure - This brochure explains the SHIBA program, its services and provides sponsor contacts.

Demand for Publications

The Insurance Division provided the following estimate of the 1999 publication distribution based on inventory tracking (as at 11 February 2000):

  • Protecting the Insurance Buying Public - 5,250 copies distributed;
  • Consumer Guide to Oregon Insurance Complaints - 2,410;
  • Consumer Guide to Medicare Supplement Insurance - 14,200;
  • Free Help with Medicare and Other Insurance - 15,000;
  • Your Medicare Health Plan Choices - 7,300; and
  • Long Term Care Insurance - 6,000.


The Insurance Division does not have a Speakers Bureau, but this responsibility falls within the Consumer Advocate position for health insurance. While a more active public speaking function is under consideration, the current focus is on developing more hard copy consumer brochures.


The Commissioner is tending to take a more proactive position. The Division issues press releases for almost all significant actions taken against insurance companies to promote public awareness. The Consumer Guide to Oregon Insurance Complaints is also heavily publicized in the media.