[GUEST COMMENTARY] A health insurance vote to pay attention to in October

By Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund

East Valley Tribune

While many Arizonans are determining how they will vote in November’s election, a vote will soon be taken in Arizona that can impact how we learn about health insurance rate increases.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires review of any proposed premium health insurance rate increase of 10 percent or greater. Under the law, insurers must file information with the federal government and make that information public, and either the state or the federal government must determine whether the increases are justified or unjustified. In order for Arizona to join over 40 States and be granted status as a State with an Effective Rate Review Program, the Arizona Department of Insurance must ensure transparency and opportunities for public input, among other provisions.

While ultimately Arizona needs to prevent unreasonable health insurance rate increases from going into effect, rate review offers a way for Arizona to oversee insurers’ premium increases and provide better consumer protections. In fact, millions of dollars have and can be saved for consumers through robust transparency and public participation in the health insurance rate review process.

Fortunately, these days “transparency” and “public input” have become almost as American as baseball and apple pie. Although presidential, congressional, legislative and other candidates may not agree on much, transparency and public input transcend political affiliations and Arizonans have embraced the ability to receive information and have their voice be heard.


If interested in discussing health care law, you can contact David Weissman, director of RLG’s Employment Law Department, dweissman@roselawgroup.com


Law change making ballot initiatives rare/AP





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September 2012