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

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 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 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 Education Fund | Health Care

Advocates Applaud Arizona’s Commitment to Provide Transparency and Public Input on Health Insurance Rate Increases

With the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council vote to approve the Arizona Department of Insurance’s proposed rule on health insurance rate increases, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and Children’s Action Alliance said Arizona decision-makers seized an opportunity to show Arizonans an ongoing commitment to a successful health insurance rate review program by incorporating transparency and public input into their rule.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Health Reform Law

Today’s decision means leaders in Arizona need to move forward and make sure health reform delivers lower costs and better quality for consumers.

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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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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

STUDY OF NEW HEALTH EXCHANGES SHOWS ARIZONA HOW TO LOWER COSTS FOR CONSUMERS

Many states are creating health exchanges to deliver better value for consumers, and Arizona should follow their lead, according to Making the Grade, a new report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund.  Health exchanges are competitive marketplaces that can empower individuals and small businesses with better, more affordable options for coverage.  Under the federal health reform law, each state will have an exchange up and running in 2014.

 

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Comments on the Rate Review Program before the Arizona Department of Insurance

When consumers consider whether health care reform has been a success, many of them will have a simple test in mind – when they open the envelope that lays out their health insurance rates, will the premium increase be affordable, or will it be unreasonable? Experts know that there are a host of inefficiencies, misaligned incentives, and system failures behind that one number, many of which have little to do with any particular insurer.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget, Health Care

Review on Ombudsmen Offices in Arizona Released

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund released a white paper Mediating for Citizens: Ombudsmen in Arizona, which provides detailed information about the ombudsmen offices in the state.  Ombudsman offices provide an outlet for citizens to resolve legitimate grievances with government agencies.

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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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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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