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News: 2011 Press Release
For Release: January 3, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner-Elect Dave Jones Sworn Into Office
New Commissioner Announces Emergency Regulations to Implement Key Component of Federal Health Care Reform
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today took the oath of office, administered by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court; to become California's fourth elected Insurance Commissioner.
Commissioner Jones emphasized that while he and the California Department of Insurance will seek to address a number of key insurance issues, his three primary priorities are: 1) The implementation of federal health care reform, including continuing his fight for the authority to reject excessive health insurance premium increases; 2) The protection of consumers by leveling the playing field for consumers and businesses as they deal with insurance companies; and 3) To ensure that California has a viable and competitive insurance market, where carriers are solvent, where new products like "Green Property Insurance" can be brought to market to provide more choices and where consumers are treated fairly.
"My overarching goal is to make the California Department of Insurance the strongest consumer protection agency in the nation. Bar none. We will set the standard for other consumer protection agencies," Commissioner Jones said. "I am determined to define my tenure as Insurance Commissioner by a single word: action. As a regulator should be, I will be fair and deliberate, but I will also be vigorous in my protection of California's consumers."
As his first official action as Insurance Commissioner, Jones signed a Notice of Emergency Regulation, giving him the legal authority to enforce in California the new federal 80% medical loss ratio for the individual health insurance market, even if Congress prevents the federal Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing it.
"This is an important action because it solidifies my authority to ensure that insurers are sending 80% of every health insurance premium dollar they receive into actual health care, not insurer profits, marketing and overhead," Commissioner Jones said. "I will be watching very closely to make sure health insurers comply."
For the full text of Commissioner Jones' inauguration speech, please click here.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.