Director's Message Regarding Health Insurance Premiums for 2018

Open enrollment will be available from November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017 for health insurance coverage commencing January 1, 2018.  Here are a few things you can expect when purchasing or renewing health insurance this year.

In Arizona, the overall average Marketplace (“on-exchange”) Plan Year 2018 rates have stabilized with only slight changes from last year’s premium rates.  This is significant for our market after sustaining large premium increases in 2017.  This premium rate stabilization gives us hope that more insurers may consider entering our market for Plan Year 2019. Unfortunately, like last year, Arizonan’s health insurance plan choices are limited.  Only two insurance carriers will be issuing tax subsidized major medical policies on the exchange in 2018.  One insurer will be offering health plans in Maricopa and Pima counties, and the other insurer will be offering plans in the other 13 counties.  Additionally, we are down to a total of 4 health insurers offering individual plans off-exchange for 2018. Visit our Health insurance rate page to see a list of plans and premium averages by county. 

Additionally, you can view detailed information, compare plans, and complete the enrollment process at the federal Marketplace website at https://www.healthcare.gov.

As you may have read, the federal government announced that it will stop reimbursing insurers for Cost Share Reductions (CSR) associated with major medical policies issued to Marketplace customers that meet the federal poverty level criteria.  This announcement did not result in any changes to the 2018 Arizona Marketplace plan rates for Open Enrollment.

Families with children should be aware that the federal government made some changes to the “child” premium rate calculations which will result in higher premiums for children.  This will have the greatest impact on families that do not qualify for the premium tax credit.  For an explanation of how rates for children will be changing, please read our Frequently Asked Questions document.

Under Arizona state law, the Department of Insurance is not given the legal authority to approve or disapprove the major medical health insurance rates filed with us.  Instead, the Department’s role is to review the rate filings and confirm that valid, detailed financial and actuarial justification (as required by federal and state law) is provided and any change in the rate is found reasonable by these standards.  In order to perform that review, the Department engages independent actuaries to scrutinize the rate filings in depth to confirm compliance with the laws and regulations.  You can read the insurers’ justification of their rate increases and a narrative describing the data and assumptions that the insurer used to develop its rate (a consumer justification) by visiting https://filingaccess.serff.com/sfa/home/AZ.   Visitors can also see a list of all rate change filings (On and Off Marketplace, Individual and Small Group) on the Department’s Health Insurance Rate Information webpage.

Contracting Opportunity for Arbitrators

The Arizona State Procurement Office is procuring Surprise Out-of-Network Dispute Arbitration Services.  Individuals and businesses interested in offering arbitration services must register as a supplier in the Arizona Procurement Portal (https://app.az.gov), and then will be able to locate Souring Project BPM00251.  Bids must be submitted by not later than 3:00 PM MST on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. 

Health Insurance Telemarketers Annoy; Pose Fraud Risks

Phoenix, AZ—The Arizona Department of Insurance (ADOI) wants to make citizens aware of scams involving aggressive telemarketers attempting to sell health insurance plans and, in some cases, attempting to gain personal and financial information possibly for criminal purposes.


The ADOI has received complaints from people who received multiple phone calls, robocalls, and text messages claiming to be from the National Health Enrollment Center, the Healthcare Enrollment Center and from Healthcare.gov. Some people report that they were contacted multiple times a day, sometimes from different phone numbers, despite requests to be placed on the companies' do-not-call lists. Additionally, some people report having been asked to provide health insurance enrollment information, including such information as address, date of birth, social security number, and personal health information that, in the wrong hands, could be used in identity theft or other fraud schemes.


Arizona citizens who have received persistent phone calls or text messages from these or other callers attempting to sell them health insurance are encouraged to file a complaint with:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
     • Phony calls about health insurance: www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2016/02/phony-calls-about-health-insurance
     • Submit a Consumer Complaint to the FTC: www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc
Arizona Department of Insurance Consumer Protection Division
     • Visit https://insurance.az.gov/consumers
     • Or call the ADOI’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 602-364-2499, or 1-800-325-2548 if calling within Arizona but outside Maricopa County.
We can all take steps to avoid becoming victims of fraud.
      • Never provide someone who calls you with your bank account number, your social security number, your credit card number, or your personal health information. If you are asked to provide this information, hang up.
     • Research the insurance agent and insurance company you are considering using by finding their license information through the ADOI’s License Search webpage (https://insurance.az.gov/license-search), and use contact information in the license record to contact them. Be skeptical and do research.
     • For information about insurance available from Health Insurance Marketplace, visit the Healthcare.gov website or call Healthcare.gov directly at 1-800-318-2596. The Arizona Department of Insurance is a state agency dedicated to protecting Arizona citizens and businesses by promoting a safe, strong, innovative and competitive insurance marketplace.

The Arizona Department of Insurance is a state agency dedicated to protecting Arizona citizens and businesses by promoting a safe, strong, innovative and competitive insurance marketplace.

Arizona Sample Notice of Continuation Coverage (Mini-COBRA)

Pursuant to ARS § 20-2330, a health benefits plan issued or renewed after December 31, 2018, must allow an enrollee and any qualified dependent to continue coverage after a qualifying event.  The law requires a small employer (with an average of 1 to 20 employees) to notify an enrollee in writing of the right of the enrollee and any qualified dependents to continue coverage under the employer's health benefits plan upon an enrolee's qualifying event.  Pursuant to Subsection C of the law, the Department has prepared a sample notice of coverage continuation form and is making the sample available on its website.  A small employer that uses, properly completes, and timely issues the Department's form is presumed to satisfy notification requirements.

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