According to the Department of Health and Human Services, insurers in Arizona are pushing for double-digit rate increases. The matter has not escaped the notice of the state’s Department of Insurance, of course, and regulators are reviewing the rate proposals from the companies involved. AARP Arizona has begun engaging regulators on the behalf of consumers. The organization believes that consumers should have a larger role in the rate review process, especially since it is them who will feel the impact of higher insurance rates.
AARP officials are working with the Department of Insurance to find a way for consumers to submit their input on the rate review process without opening the flood gates for the mischievous crowd. One idea is to post rate reviews online for all to see. Consumers will be able to look over some of the information regarding rate increases and vote the proposal as a whole either “reasonable” or “unreasonable.” AARP is also working to ensure that consumers are notified before higher rates are approved so they are not caught off guard.
State regulators are currently collecting information and feedback from other groups similar to the AARP regarding the matter. The state is willing to open up the rate review process to consumers, but doing so may be risky. The information contained in rate proposals can be sensitive to those that do not understand how the insurance industry prices policies. Given the fact that insurers can use information such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location and living habits to write policies, some consumers may take offense and criticize both the state and its insurance industry.