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Consumer Engagement Important in Health Insurance Rate Reviews

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, health insurance companies in Arizona are pursuing double-digit premium increases for more than 30 insurance health plans in the state.

See also: Health Care Reform and You

Officials from AARP Arizona are weighing-in with the Arizona Department of Insurance on the transparency of health insurance plan rate reviews. The department is currently reviewing the process for rate reviews of health insurance plans. AARP believes consumers should have the opportunity to be more engaged in the process.

“AARP welcomes the opportunity to work with the Arizona Department of Insurance on this very important issue,” said David Mitchell, AARP Arizona State Director. “We are supporting three key points that we hope will be included in the review process.”

AARP would like to see proposed rate increases posted online for public comment before the rate increases are considered “reasonable or unreasonable”, and that policyholders are notified of potential rate increases before they are classified as such.

“We also think it’s important that press releases are issued informing the public of the opportunity to give public comment whenever a significant premium increase for Arizonans is considered by the Department of Insurance,” said Mitchell.

In addition, AARP supports the adoption of an alert system similar to that which the state of Minnesota currently uses. “We believe policyholders should be allowed to enroll in an alert system that automatically indicates when rate hikes are submitted for review by the department.” Mitchell added. “We think informing policyholders is not only important, but that the notices should be easy to understand, state the implications of the increase and what options are available to policyholders.”

The Arizona Department of Insurance is currently gathering comments from various stakeholder groups on this issue. “AARP strongly supports the opportunity for consumers to be active participants in the insurance market and we applaud the Arizona Department of Insurance for their continued work in this area,” said Mitchell.

Find more information about AARP in Arizona and check out AARP Arizona on Facebook.

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