Report: Arizona consumers to receive health insurance rebates

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Affordable Care Act brings refunds to Arizona

The future of the Affordable Care Act may be uncertain, but for now it is bringing some degree of financial benefit to consumers throughout the country. A new report from Consumers Union, a non-profit testing and information organization shows that Arizona insurance consumers can expect to see refunds this year, thanks to the health care law’s medical loss ratio (MLR) provision. According to this provision, health insurers are required to spend no less than 80% of the money they collect from premiums toward medical care. If this standard is not met, insurers must provide consumers with refunds.

More than $36 million in rebates to come to consumers

Arizona consumers can expect to receive more than $36 million in health insurance refunds this year. Consumers that purchased individual health insurance plans will receive approximately $24 million in rebates, which will come as a check in the mail or be credited to toward future payments. Businesses and small groups will receive just over $9 million, with an additional $2.9 million going to large group plans. Consumers can expect to see these rebates after August 1, 2012, based upon the spending of Arizona health insurers in 2011.

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Health care law cited as reason for lower insurance rates

According to Consumers Union, the Affordable Care Act is alleviating some of the financial burden consumers have had to deal with in the past. The law is driving down health insurance rates due to increased competition and changes in regulations as well as providing consumers with rebates. The organization believes that this trend will continue as long as the federal law is upheld by the Supreme Court, which is expect to levy a determination on the law in June.

Several of Arizona’s large insurance companies to issue rebates

Consumers Union notes that Arizona’s Blue Cross Blue Shield is to rebate some $8.7 million to 77,000 policyholders throughout the state. UnitedHealthcare”s Golden Rule Insurance will return a comparable amount to more than 30,000 consumers. Several more of the state’s health insurance companies will also issue refunds to policyholders this year.

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