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

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

A Glimpse into Arizona’s Health Insurance Rate Review Program

The purpose of A Glimpse into Arizona’s Health Insurance Rate Review Program is to provide an initial analysis on how effectively Arizona is reviewing health insurance rate filings for the individual market since being awarded status as a State with an Effective Rate Review Program.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

As New Health Insurance Rate Increases Become Effective, Consumer Group Provides Analysis & Offers Recommendations

Today, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund released A Glimpse into Arizona’s Health Insurance Rate Review Program. The document provides an initial analysis on how effectively Arizona is reviewing proposed health insurance rate increases for the individual market since taking over that responsibility from the federal government.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Health Care

Big Pharma’s Pay-for-Delay Deals Take a Hit

Big Pharma’s controversial “pay-for-delay” agreements took a hit today. In FTC v. Actavis, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the FTC’s case against the payoff keeping generic AndroGel from the market can move ahead in the lower courts.

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Blog Post | Health Care

The U.S. Supreme Court & the High Cost of Rx Drugs | Diane 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 Education Fund | Health Care

At Stake: What’s on the Line for Health Care Consumers in the Pending Supreme Court Case

The outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have far reaching impacts on consumers. In this issue brief, we highlight what’s at stake for Arizona consumers in the pending Supreme Court case.

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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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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

People living in the United States have access to some of the best medical care in the world, from life-saving drugs to cutting-edge surgical techniques. But our system is deeply flawed, with spiraling costs forcing many Americans to spend more on care and often receiving poor quality care for all the extra money spent.

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

While many Americans struggle to afford their prescription drugs, Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s survey of retail prices of commonly prescribed medications found patients can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars in some cases by shopping around at pharmacies within their communities.

Blog Post

Cost containment is is a critical first step in addressing the deep faults in our health care system - it's hard to image fixing problems of access if we continue to be charged $15 for a Tylenol pill or $1,000 for a toothbrush. It turns out that overpriced equipment repair helps add to those inflated costs.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

King Bio Inc. issued the second significant voluntary recall since late July of their homeopathic drugs on Wednesday. Safety concerns over homeopathic drugs extend beyond King Bio as over the past several years, the FDA has issued recalls to several companies for a variety of health products from zinc-containing intranasal medicine to asthma drugs with toxic ingredients. 

News Release

Today, President Trump signed a new Executive Order that aims to loosen up rules for health insurance plans for individuals, families and small businesses. Though the administration touts the potential for lower-cost health insurance under looser rules, this action will not help American consumers. In fact, it is likely to make matters worse by destabilizing the markets Americans rely on for health coverage. American consumers need real action on health care costs, but this simply will not cut it.

Health Care

Fighting surprise medical bills

To help protect consumers from surprise medical bills, we've launched a campaign to educate consumers on their rights to push back if they receive a surprise medical bill.

 

Health Care

Bipartisan bill to stop surprise medical billing becomes law

Americans will now be protected from surprise medical bills sent by out-of-network providers thanks to a new bipartisan law prohibiting "balance billing," where providers charge patients the difference between their fees and the maximum allowed by the patient's insurance.

 

Health Care | U.S. PIRG

Searching for common ground on caregiving

In our politically divided time, it's difficult to see where we can find common ground. But the need to value the work of caring for our loved ones is one such place. PIRG Senior Director of New Economy Campaigns Evan Preston explains in his blog, "Toward Consensus on Caregiving."

 
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