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IPO vs. ICO, can you tell the difference? Operation Cryptosweep helps identify crypto-investment schemes - 05/23/18

(Salem) – Crypto-investment products are growing in popularity. There are more than 30,000 crypto-related domain registrations. Unfortunately, it is estimated that more than 80 percent of initial coin offerings (ICO) are scams to steal your money and identity.

 

Investors can be easily confused thinking an ICO is similar to an initial public offering (IPO). While they sound similar, they are very different. ICOs sell digital coins or tokens to fund a project. IPOs sell common stock and securities.

 

The most important difference is that IPOs are highly regulated, providing investor protections; many ICOs do not provide those protections. 

 

To help consumers make informed decisions about crypto-investments, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation is encouraging investors to be on the lookout for these common ICO schemes:

 

Fake digital wallets – A digital wallet allows someone to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies. Scammers design fake wallets to gain access to people’s private codes and steal their cryptocurrency.

 

Pump-and-dumps – Groups of individuals coordinate to buy and promote a cryptocurrency on social media. They push the demand and price up, and then quickly sell it, leaving buyers with a devalued cryptocurrency.

 

Multi-level marketing platforms – Companies lure investors with the promise of high-interest/low-risk returns, and provide incentives to recruit additional investors. Eventually, the company shuts down the program, keeps the investments, and leaves investors with worthless digital coins.

 

“Approximately $400 million has been stolen from investors through ICOs, and that will continue to rise as they grow in popularity,” said Andrew Stolfi, division administrator. “Fraud runs rampant in these offerings and consumers must be extremely cautious before investing.”

 

The division has joined the North American Securities Administrators Association and more than 40 state and provincial securities regulators across the United States and Canada in Operation Cryptosweep. Designed to raise public awareness about the fraudulent actions of crypto-related investments, Operation Cryptosweep offers the resources below to help investors.

 

Digital currency warnings and tips

 

Informed investor advisory: ICOs

 

Video: Get in the know about ICO

 

Review these resources before purchasing or investing in any type of cryptocurrency, especially those offered by an ICO. Consumers who have questions about these unregulated assets can call the division’s advocates at 866-814-9710 (toll-free).

 

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About DCBS: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. 

 

About Oregon DFR:

The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and http://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

 

FamilyCare Health's mid-year termination means thousands need a new Medicare Advantage plan - 05/16/18

Medicare Advantage members encouraged to call for help

 

(Salem) – FamilyCare Health received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to voluntarily terminate its Medicare Advantage plans on July 1.

 

Medicare Advantage plans provide Medicare benefits to consumers, and are offered by private insurance companies. FamilyCare Medicare Advantage plan members must choose a new Medicare Advantage plan by July 31.

 

Individuals who do not choose a new plan will be placed in Original Medicare, and receive prescription drug coverage through Envision Insurance Company. 

 

FamilyCare Medicare Advantage members have many ways to get assistance:

 

  • Members who are not also enrolled in Medicaid can speak with a health insurance counselor by calling Oregon’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program at 800-722-4134 (toll-free) or visiting http://healthcare.oregon.gov/Pages/find-help.aspx.

 

 

 

For more enrollment information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the SHIBA resource page at http://healthcare.oregon.gov/shiba/Pages/family-care.aspx.

 

 

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About DCBS:

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

 

About Oregon DFR:

The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and http://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

 

About Oregn SHIBA:

Oregon SHIBA is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency.

 

 

First look at 2019 proposed health insurance rates - 05/15/18

Salem – Oregon consumers can now get a first look at proposed rates for 2019 individual and small group health insurance plans.

In the individual market, seven companies submitted average rate change requests ranging from a 9.6 percent decrease to a 16.3 percent increase. In the small group market, nine companies submitted average rate change requests ranging from a 4 percent decrease to a 9.4 percent increase. See the attached chart for the full list of rate change requests.

“It’s early in the process, but we are encouraged to see two insurers expanding into new counties,” said Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi. “Now it is time to start our open and thorough review process that allows Oregonians to provide input on the filings that affect them.”

Health insurance companies submitted rate requests to the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Division of Financial Regulation on May 14. Over the next two months, the division will analyze the requested rates to ensure they adequately cover Oregonians’ health care costs. The division must review and approve any rates before they can be charged to policyholders.

The proposed rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer.

Starting May 23, Oregonians will be able to search rate filings and submit comments at oregonhealthrates.org. Once scheduled, hearing information will be posted to this website.

Oregonians are encouraged to comment on rate change requests during the public comment period, which is open May 23 through July 9. The public can submit comments online and during public rate hearings.

Preliminary decisions are expected to be announced June 29, and final decisions are scheduled for July 19.

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About DCBS: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. 

About Oregon DFR:

The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and http://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

Attached Media Files: Preliminary rate chart
Eden McCall, first place winner
Eden McCall, first place winner
Sprague High School student wins safety video contest (Photo) - 04/30/18

(Salem) – Eden McCall, a student at Sprague High School in Salem, won $500 for her first-place video titled “The Silent Condition” in an annual safety video contest that promotes young worker safety and the importance of speaking up.

The video, which deftly blends voiceover narration, body language, and props, features a teen worker who suffers from being silent on the job and, as a result, gets needlessly exposed to safety hazards. However, with knowledge, confidence, and “an extra 10 decibels,” as the narrator puts it, teen workers have the power to overcome the silent condition, and to speak up and work safe.

Sprague High School also won a matching amount of prize money.

McCall said she just focused on producing an original, high-quality video that brought attention to job safety for young workers. To win first prize, she said, was surprising and exciting.

During the development of her video, McCall said, she learned that “there are solutions for hazardous work environments, and what I tried to highlight in my video was to be knowledgeable about worker safety practices and laws, confident in your ability to speak up in a bad situation, and if necessary, to raise your voice to stay safe in the workplace.”

A second-place prize was awarded, and two teams tied for third place and won prizes. They are as follows:

Second place ($400)

“Safety Joe”

Crescent Valley High School, Corvallis

Created by:

Alex Vartanov

Daniel Mason

Third place ($300)

“Welcome to Recyc Corp”

Parkrose High School, Portland

Created by:

Chad McAdams

Trevaughn Terry

Juney Prasad

Ashton Caudle

Calvin Haynes

Gabe Gothro

Jacob Mansfield

Christian Olney

Kyle Noble

Peter Phan

Eddie Penalver

Sarah Wilson

Jade Spencer

Waymond Crowder

Mary Dinh

Brianna Benjamin

Mason Swinehart

J.R. Sanders

Lauren Robanske

Phong Ta

Janos Wilson

James Rosengrant

Josh Weir

Franco Duran

Third place ($300)

“Memories”

Summit High School, Bend

Created by:

Cedar Vickery

Jadon Berg

The creators of the top videos were presented their awards on Saturday during a special screening at Northern Lights Theatre and Pub in Salem. Sponsored by the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]), the annual video contest focuses on teen workers, who are twice as likely to be injured on the job, according to federal studies.

The contest is designed to increase awareness about safety for young workers, with the theme of “Speak up. Work safe.” Students were asked to create a video with a teen job safety and health message and were judged on creativity, production value, youth appeal, and the overall safety and health message.

All of the winning videos, as well as the other finalists, are available for viewing on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1999Xv_zGk&feature=youtu.be&list=PLM75uPd4sBhyrd3HoiMliiaX_EhuJCn6y

The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) organizes the contest. The sponsors are Oregon OSHA, SAIF Corporation, local Oregon chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU, Hoffman Construction, Central Oregon Safety & Health Association, the SHARP Alliance, the Construction Safety Summit, Northern Lights Theatre and Pub, and SafeBuild Alliance.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) is a nonprofit dedicated to preventing young worker injuries and fatalities. O[yes] members include safety and health professionals, educators, employers, labor and trade associations, and regulators. For more information, go to http://youngemployeesafety.org/.

 

 

Attached Media Files: Eden McCall, first place winner
Learn health insurance basics in a free, local workshop - 04/25/18

(Salem) – The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor “Building Blocks of Health Insurance,” a free 90-minute workshop on understanding health insurance, next month in Wallowa County.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, May 14, at Wallowa Memorial Hospital, 601 Medical Parkway in Enterprise.

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. An experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:
• Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans
• Summary of Benefits documents
• Explanation of Benefits letters
• Eligibility for financial assistance

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing ketplace@oregon.gov">info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Learn health insurance basics in a free, local workshop - 04/25/18

(Salem) – The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor “Building Blocks of Health Insurance,” a free 90-minute workshop on understanding health insurance, next month in the Beaverton area.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11, at the Cedar Mill Main Library, 12505 NW Cornell Road, Suite 13, in Portland.

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. An experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:
• Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans
• Summary of Benefits documents
• Explanation of Benefits letters
• Eligibility for financial assistance

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing ketplace@oregon.gov">info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Learn health insurance basics in free, local workshops - 04/25/18

(Salem) – The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor two “Building Blocks of Health Insurance,” free 90-minute workshops on understanding health insurance, next month in Central Oregon.

The events, which are open to the public, will be held:
• Tuesday, May 22, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Downtown Bend Library, in the Brooks Room, 601 NW Wall St. in Bend
• Wednesday, May 23, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Crook County Library, in the Broughton Room, 174 NW Meadow Lakes Dr. in Prineville

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. At each event, an experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:
• Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans
• Summary of Benefits documents
• Explanation of Benefits letters
• Eligibility for financial assistance

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing ketplace@oregon.gov">info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.