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Updated Jun 22, 2012 - 9:59 am

Insurance refund checks coming for 235,000 Arizonans

Over 235,000 Arizona families will be getting a check for about $120 this summer thanks to the Affordable Care Act's 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of consumers' premium dollars on medical care. If they don't, they have to reimburse the difference.

"The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to spend 80 percent of what it receives in the way of premiums for actual claim," said Arizona State University law professor James G. Hodge Jr. "When you have a situation where an insurance company is charged more in premiums than it is disbursed in claims, the [act] requires a refund."

The rule also states how much of consumers's claims can be used by insurance companies on non-health care costs. Hodges said the rebates could continue on for years.

"You will see a lot of insurance companies -- if this provision stays in place following the Supreme Court's review -- making these adjustments so they don't have to engage in this type of systemic refund across a large pool," he said. "Ultimately, it could be an annual reimbursement made to consumers."

Insurance companies are required to provide the rebates no later than Aug. 1.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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