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AZ: Bill to make small biz insurance more affordable proposed

Date: 04/12/2006 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

House Bill 2217, designed to help agents determine if the rates insurance companies are charging employers are fair, passed out of the Arizona House of Representatives unanimously.

The proposed legislation requires insurance companies to disclose two rate figures to the Arizona Deparment of Insurance:(1) Base rates — the best rate possible for a healthy group of employees and dependents.

(2) Index rates — the average rate charged to a group.

Currently in Arizona, insurers can charge businesses 60% above or below the index rate, depending on the risk. The national average sits at 25%. Many business owners are frustrated as they often see two or three rate changes before their rate is finally established.

California has taken it a step further by recently passing legislation that only allows carriers to charge as high as 10% above the index rate. The Arizona bill under consideration currently does not contain any such provision. Other states appear to be taking similiar actions to determine if business owners are being charged fairly.

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