The Arizona Department of Insurance gets credit in a new report for helping to inform consumers and protect them from unreasonable health insurance rate hikes. But the AZ PIRG Education Fund says the department needs more legal authority from the state Legislature to do the job right.
The department currently determines if health insurance rate increases are justified, based on information submitted by insurers. But AZ PIRG health care policy analyst Laura Etherton says they can only push for reasonable rates, not mandate them.
More than 30 other states already have the authority to deny excessive rate hikes for at least some insurance products, including New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.
Under the Affordable Care Act, Arizona’s insurance department reviews any health insurance rate increase of more than ten-percent.