Protecting Consumers and Saving Money

RIPIN Consumer Helpline Solves Health Insurance Issues and Decrease Health Care Costs for Consumers

Protecting consumers is at the core of all of OHIC's activities. OHIC strives to keep consumers informed, encourage consumer-focused health care innovations, ensure affordable access to health care, and protect consumers by making sure federal and state laws are followed. With OHIC's community partner, the Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN), OHIC maintains a consumer assistance helpline called RIREACH (The Rhode Island Insurance Resource, Education, and Consumer Helpline) to provide support, education and advocacy to Rhode Islanders facing health care barriers.

RIPIN

Any Rhode Islander with any type of health insurance can call RIREACH and speak with trained professionals who can help them navigate the process and get what they need from their coverage. The helpline can assist consumers with:

  • Insurance company denials
  • Medical billing disputes
  • HSRI and Medicaid complications
  • Finding and keeping coverage
  • Options for uninsured

 

Commissioner Tigue Rejects Charges for Profits and Contributions to Reserves for Insurers

During the 2021 health insurance rate review process, Health Insurance Commissioner Patrick M. Tigue rejected all charges for profit and contributions to reserves in the 2022 rates that were filed with OHIC for review, citing the continued impact COVID-19 has had on the health and financial wellbeing of Rhode Islanders. In addition, several insurers were required to modify the actuarial assumptions set forth in their filings that produce additional savings for consumers. As a result of these changes, Rhode Islanders will save $41,680,000 in 2022 compared to what the commercial health insurers requested.

"Given the strong reserve positions of health insurers operating in the state, I did not believe that charges for profit and contributions to reserves for 2022 were consistent with the proper conduct of the insurers’ business or consistent with the public interest.” - Health Insurance Commissioner Patrick M. Tigue

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“As Rhode Islanders confront significant threats to their health and financial well-being due to the spread of COVID-19, my responsibility is to limit the burden of the cost of health insurance within the standards for review and approval set forth by law,” said Commissioner Tigue. “The cost of health care goods and services, what consumers and insurers pay doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and other providers remain the major driver of insurance rate increases and consumer out-of-pocket spending. Consumers, employers, government, payers, and providers all must continue to prioritize efforts to make health care as affordable as possible through efforts such as the Rhode Island Health Care Cost Trends Project.”