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

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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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Getting All the Cards on the Table

States do have options to increase transparency so consumers have better information and are better protected against unreasonable rate increases. One important opportunity is through a process called rate review, which can potentially empower consumers by requiring insurers to make information on why rates are increasing publically available.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

New Arizona PIRG Education Fund Guide Explains Health Care Coverage Options for Young People and their Families

A provision of the new federal health care law that goes into effect today allowing parents to keep children on their health insurance plan until age 26 will benefit 30,900 young people, according to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. The Arizona PIRG Education Fund marked the day by releasing The Young Person’s Guide to Health Insurance, a consumer guide which offers information about the rights and options available to young people and their families under the new law, which includes a letter addressed to students coming back to college this fall from President Barack Obama.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

THE FOCUS FOR NEXT STAGE OF HEALTH REFORM

The new federal health care reform law puts state leaders in the driver’s seat, according to a new report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. Delivering on the Promise shows how state policy makers can implement and improve on the law to ensure it offers the best deal to consumers.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

New Report: Gaps in Medical Research Result in Poorer Care and Higher Costs

A new report released today by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund finds that for the majority of medical conditions, no studies exist that determine the most effective course of treatment among all the available options.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Health Care

New Report Shows How Much Health Insurers Actually Spend on Care

With Americans increasingly concerned about rising health care costs, the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) today released a report finding that health insurers can cut overhead and increase patient care.  The report, More Bang for the Health Care Buck: How an Efficiency Standard for Health Insurers Can Reduce Overhead and Deliver More Patient Care, examines how much health insurers spend on health care benefits, rather than administrative overhead.  It concludes that an efficiency standard requiring insurers to spend 85% of their revenues on patient care is a realistic, achievable standard that will reduce the cost of health care and provide higher-value coverage.

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