Thousands of Oregon consumers are about to get rebate checks from their health insurance companies as part of the Affordable Care Act.
The new law forces health insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of their premiums on health care. No more than 20 percent can be spent on bonuses, advertising or other administrative costs.
If an insurance company doesn't meet this 80/20 split, it has to return money to customers. The Obama administration says in Oregon, about 23,000 people will share $4.7 million.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explained, "None of us are used to insurance companies sending money back. But that's exactly what's happening thanks to the new law. The rebates ... will put an average of $151 back in the pockets of 7.3 million American families in the next month."
The chances you'll get a check in Oregon aren't big. Only two percent of people who have private insurance will get the rebate here.
The trade group America's Health Insurance Plans is speaking out against the new rule. Its' website says the requirement will actually increase administrative costs; put coverage at risk; and hurt efforts to improve quality.