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HIRAC Ground Rules and Operating Guidelines

Adopted: 08/29/2001

I. Purpose
II. Representation
III. Communication and Decision Making
IV. Work Groups
V. Meeting Summaries


I. Purpose (ORS 743.745)

The primary purpose of the Health Insurance Reform Advisory Committee (HIRAC) is to recommend to the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) the form and level of coverage under the basic health benefits plans to be made available by small employer carriers and portability health benefits plans.

While the work of the Committee will be advisory, it will be critical in identifying and resolving conflicts over policy issues, in creating consensus whenever possible, and in building wider public support for critical elements of health insurance reform when consensus can be reached.

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II. Representation

A. Member Appointment

The Director of DCBS appointed the 11 members of HIRAC.

The Director's principle goal was to select a Committee that could represent the interests and perspectives of stakeholders that have identifiable concerns about small group and portability plan coverage.

Committee members were selected to represent health insurance stakeholder constituencies, but are appointed to the Committee as individuals. Therefore, no alternate members will be appointed. In the event that a member resigns from the Committee, the Director shall make a new appointment.

The stakeholder constituencies considered include:

Citizen-at-Large

Consumers

Health Insurance Agents

Health Insurance Carriers, representing HCSC, indemnity and HMO plans

Organized Labor

B. Member responsibilities

  1. Attend and participate in HIRAC meetings;
  2. To articulate their views and, when appropriate, the views of the members of their constituency; and
  3. Strive throughout the process to bridge gaps in understanding, to seek creative resolution of differences, and to commit to the goal of achieving consensus.

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III. Communication and Decision Making

A. Communication rules and guidelines

Participation in discussions of the Committee will be limited to the members seated at the table. Meetings of the committee are open to the public and interested citizens are invited and encouraged to attend and observe. Public comment will be taken at the end of each Committee meeting.

Committee members will be asked to follow the following guidelines for communication:

  • Only one person will speak at a time and no one will interrupt when another person is speaking;
  • Each person will express his or her own views rather than speaking for others at the table;
  • No will make personal attacks or issue statements blaming others for specific actions or outcomes; and
  • Each person will strive to maintain a sense of humor, listen well and be open minded.

A. Decision-making

The Committee will operate by consensus when possible, and every effort will be made to meet the interest of the participating stakeholder groups. A member's absence is the equivalent of not dissenting. If a consensus cannot be reached the Director may call for a vote of the Committee.

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IV. Work Groups

Working groups will be established by the Committee to undertake more in depth discussions of issues under consideration. These working groups will meet between meetings of the full Committee and will report back on the results of their discussions with recommendations to HIRAC. The Director will determine the representation, roles and responsibilities of the members of working groups.


V. Meeting Summaries

HIRAC staff will prepare a summary of each meeting. The summary will include the key points of discussion, as well as items of agreement and disagreement. A draft version will be sent to Committee members after each Committee meeting. Approval of summary will occur at the following meeting, after HIRAC staff takes note of any proposed additions, corrections, or clarification. If substantial changes are made, a revised version will be sent to members, as well as any observers who wish to receive it.

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This document was last revised on October 2, 2001.