PHOENIX — State lawmakers voted today to let companies from elsewhere sell insurance in this state, a move that could cut premiums but leave many Arizonans without coverage for some of their medical conditions.
SB 1593 eliminates existing laws which require that insurers that want to peddle their products to Arizona residents be licensed and regulated by the state Department of Insurance. Proponents say the increased competition will provide more opportunities for Arizonans to get the coverage they want at a price they can afford.
But the flip side is that the legislation wipes out more than two dozen mandates for what conditions must be covered for policies issued in Arizona. These range from chiropractic care and breast reconstruction to even how much time a woman would be allowed to remain in the hospital following delivery.
Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, said that is good news for those who don't want or need that kind of coverage and the costs entailed. Conversely, those who want coverage for specific conditions can shop for a policy which includes that.
But Rep. Peggy Judd, R-Willcox, said that provides little comfort to those whose coverage is provided by their employers and who may have a child with autism, one of the conditions that is now within the mandate.
“I can guarantee you pretty close that an employer is going to pick a policy that is at his best advantage and the lowest cost,” she said. “And the lowest cost is not going to be something that would cover autism.”