Gino DiCaro

Health insurance rate proposition filed

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Nov. 18, 2011

The non-profit Consumer Watchdog Organization has recently announced its filing of the “Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act” that would expand some of the concepts that were included under voter-approved Proposition 103. Passed in 1988, Proposition 103 requires property and casualty insurance rates to be approved by the Insurance Commissioner prior to taking effect.  It also changed the position of Insurance Commissioner from a Governor-appointed post to an elected position.

Among other things, the “Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act” will require health insurance companies and health maintenance organizations to file requests for rate increases under penalty of perjury with the Insurance Commissioner prior to putting new rates into effect. It also gives the Insurance Commissioner the authority to order refunds to consumers if a rate is determined to be too high prior to being reviewed.

The measure’s proponents expect it to be cleared by the Attorney General’s Office sometime in January and plan to collect the roughly 500,000 signatures required by May of next year.

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