Health Insurance Rate Watch Project

Arizona PIRG Education Fund's Health Insurance Rate Watch Project is conducting in-depth analysis of insurers' rate hike requests, sharing our findings with state officials and the general public, and encouraging the public to participate in Arizona’s rate review process.

FIGHTING UNJUSTIFIED PREMIUM HIKES

It’s time for health insurers to get serious about lowering the cost of care by cutting waste and focusing on preventive care that gets results—instead of raising deductibles and hiking premiums. The Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s Health Insurance Rate Watch Project is working to make this a reality.

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s Health Insurance Rate Watch Project will investigate the biggest rate hike proposals and alert officials to areas of waste and concern. We will then mobilize the public to encourage state decision makers to stand up for consumers.

WHAT’S AT STAKE
Health care costs too much, delivers too little in return, and is squeezing the budgets of families and small businesses across the state. Health insurance companies could be lowering costs by cutting administrative bloat, driving a hard bargain with hospitals on prices, paying doctors to keep people healthy rather than to order expensive treatments, and passing on those savings to customers. But too often, they just keep raising rates on their customers without performing these functions.

Before insurance companies hike rates, they need to demonstrate that they are doing everything they can to keep rates down. State officials need to be able to scrutinize these rate hikes to make sure every red cent is justified—and reject them if they are not. When public pressure has been brought to bear on rate increases, dramatic savings have been won for consumers. 

Issue updates

Blog Post | Health Care

The U.S. Supreme Court & the High Cost of Rx Drugs | Diane E. Brown

Everyone knows prescription drugs cost much more than they should. But many people are surprised to learn about one of the key ways drug companies keep prices high: Paying off competitors to keep generics off the market.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Aetna Customers May See Rates Rise By 16%

More than 45,000 Arizonans who have Aetna as their health insurance provider may see a rate increase of 16%. Customers who are part of the Preferred Provider Organization-PPO-Small Group-and Aetna Fee for Service-Indemnity-Small Group health insurance plans will see an average rate increase of 16.17% starting January 1, 2013 if the premium rate hike proposed by Aetna goes forward.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Health Care

Brief Reaction to Governor's Decision to Defer to Feds on Health Insurance Exchange

Politics has trumped the ability to establish health care policy in the best interest of Arizonans. Federal decision makers now need to ensure Arizona consumers drive the health insurance exchange instead of being back-seat passengers.

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Blog Post | Health Care

What's Next on Health Care Costs? | Diane E. Brown

Now that the election is over, talk has turned to the need to work together and get results for America. It’s a tall order, and on the polarized issue of health care, it may seem at first like an impossible task. But I am hopeful that we can make significant progress together.

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Blog Post | Health Care

Here’s that Rx refill you didn’t order | Diane E. Brown

Is your pharmacy refilling your prescription without your knowledge or approval, and billing your insurance company for the cost? If so, it’s the latest example of waste we shouldn't tolerate in our health care system.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Health Care

Statement on the U.S. Senate vote of the 2012 Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act

The U.S. Senate moved rapidly toward passage of a five-year user fee reauthorization for the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, with strong bipartisan support. We commend the Senate for agreeing to provide deadlines for the issuance of certain regulations and to require a GAO report on the implementation of the clinical trial registration and reporting requirements under the Public Health Service Act. However we are disappointed that key amendments Arizona PIRG supported that would have protected consumers from the deceitful practices of the pharmaceutical industry and give greater access to affordable generic drugs did not pass.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Consumers Union Releases New Report: Health Reform’s ‘Value for Your Dollar Rule’: Early Impact in Arizona

Today’s new report by Consumers Union Health Reform’s ‘Value for Your Dollar Rule’: Early Impact in Arizona highlights how the “medical loss ratio” can help consumers get a good value for their premium health care dollars. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers covering individual and small businesses must spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care or provide rebates to consumers.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

As Arizona Dept. of Insurance Holds Health Insurance Rate Review Public Meetings, Groups Call for Increased Transparency and Consumer Involvement

This week, as the Arizona Department of Insurance holds public meetings on their proposed health insurance rate review rulemaking in Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff, public health and consumer groups will testify to the need for increased transparency and consumer involvement in the rate review process.

 

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Arizona Dept. of Insurance Issues Rule on Health Insurance “Rate Review”

St. Luke’s Health Initiatives and the Arizona PIRG Education Fund released a new report Getting All the Cards on the Table, which highlights options Arizona has to increase transparency so consumers have better information and are better protected against unreasonable health insurance rate increases. The report comes on the heels of the Arizona Department of Insurance’s (ADOI) initiation of rulemaking on “rate review."

 

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

NEW HEALTH EXCHANGE RULES CAN HELP ARIZONA MOVE FORWARD

The rules released today by the federal Department of Health and Human Services put states in the driver’s seat when it comes to setting up new health benefits exchanges. Exchanges are a centerpiece of the federal health reform law, allowing states to create new competitive marketplaces where individuals and small businesses can get a better deal on coverage. The regulations lay out the minimum standards a state will need to meet in order to run their own exchange, but states will need to make many additional decisions to ensure that their exchange serves consumers’ needs.

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