Consumer and business advocacy groups have long decried rising health insurance premiums, warning that health care has become increasingly unaffordable.

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance has responded to the cries for action with draft regulations that, advocates say, could slow the growth of premiums and increase transparency into the rate setting process for hundreds of thousands of individuals and small businesses.

The regulations would reduce the number of chances insurers have to file rate increases for small businesses and require insurers to provide information to the public to support their rates for individuals and small businesses. A public session would be part of the annual review process.

A public hearing on the draft regulations is scheduled for Thursday.

The state-approved rates are the basis on which insurers set premiums for individuals and small businesses, and consumer groups say the new process would help them better understand and communicate to residents why increases are happening.

“A transparent process would [inform] not just groups like ours but others about what decisions are being made,” said Amy Rosenthal, the executive director of consumer advocacy group Health Care For All.

Yet insurers worry that the new process isn’t about increasing transparency, but politicizing the state’s rate review process.

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