Consumer Protection

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

BANKS SKIM MILLIONS IN FEES FROM STUDENT AID USING DEBIT-CARD-LINKED STUDENT IDS

The Campus Debit Card Trap, a new report released by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, finds that banks and financial firms now control or influence federal financial aid disbursement to over 9 million students by linking checking accounts and prepaid debit cards to student IDs.  According to the report, financial institutions now have affinity partnerships with almost 900 campuses nationwide, grafting bank products onto student IDs and other campus cards to become the primary recipient of billions in federal financial aid to distribute to students.

 

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Arizona Dept. of Insurance Issues Rule on Health Insurance “Rate Review”

Today, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives and the Arizona PIRG Education Fund released a new report Getting All the Cards on the Table: The Premise and Promise of Health Insurance Rate Review in Arizona which highlights options Arizona has to increase transparency so consumers have better information and are better protected against unreasonable health insurance rate increases. The report comes on the heels of the Arizona Department of Insurance’s (ADOI) initiation of rulemaking on “rate review” which began on Friday. 

 

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Getting All the Cards on the Table:

States do have options to increase transparency so consumers have better information and are better protected against unreasonable rate increases. One important opportunity is through a process called rate review, which can potentially empower consumers by requiring insurers to make information on why rates are increasing publically available.

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

State, Federal Settlement of Robo-Signing Claims With Big Banks Is Important Step

The settlement by the U.S., Attorney General Horne and 48 other state attorneys general with the five biggest mortgage servicers is an important and enforceable first step toward holding the big banks accountable for not only wrecking the economy but using a variety of unfair foreclosure practices to ruin the lives of millions of Americans and, in many cases, taking their homes illegally.

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Dangerous toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s annual Trouble in Toyland report.

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2011

The 2011 Trouble in Toyland report is our 26th annual survey of toy safety. In this report, we provide safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for young children and provide examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Consumer Group Calls for New Competitive Health Care Marketplace

Arizona policy-makers can address rising health care costs by implementing an effective health insurance exchange, according to a report released today by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. 

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Building A Better Health Care Marketplace

Consumers across the state know that the health insurance marketplace is broken. Insurers don’t compete for their business, instead offering take-it or-leave-it deals. Important information about coverage is buried in the fine print, making it hard to know what’s really covered. Instead of working to lower costs and improve quality, too many insurers focus on covering healthy enrollees and dumping the sick. And costs are continuing their unsustainable rise. Nationally, the great majority of individual-market policyholders—77% —saw a premium increase from early 2009 to early 2010, with an average rate hike of 20%. Small businesses, too, pay 18% more for insurance than their larger competitors and have seen repeated double digit premium increases.

 

 

 

The creation of a new health insurance exchange offers our state the chance to build a better marketplace for health care. The exchange can help individuals and small businesses by increasing competition and improving choices in the state’s insurance market. By providing better options and better information, and negotiating on behalf of its enrollees, the exchange can level the playing field for consumers.

 

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Parents Beware - Many Toys Still Toxic, Hazardous

According to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves.

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2010

According to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves.  The Arizona PIRG Education Fund released the 25th annual Trouble in Toyland report, which reveals the results of laboratory testing for toxic chemicals and identifies toys that pose choking hazards.  Trouble in Toyland also includes guidance for avoiding common hazards.

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