News: 2011 Press Release
For Release: June 2, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones Praises Passage of AB 52 by California Assembly
Commissioner acknowledges wide-ranging support for critical health care legislation
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that the California Assembly has passed AB 52, authored by Assembly Member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), by a vote of 44 to 27. The bill gives the Insurance Commissioner the power to reject excessive health insurance rate increases and protects consumers and businesses.
"I want to thank Assembly Members Mike Feuer and Jared Huffman for their good work in authoring this bill, the Chair of the Health Committee, Bill Monning for his help and Speaker John A. Pérez for shepherding this bill through the Assembly," Commissioner Jones said. "This bill levels the playing field for California's consumers and businesses and I look forward to continuing this effort to ensure that it becomes law."
"The California Assembly today recognized that our families shouldn't have to live in fear that they are just one rate hike away from no longer affording health insurance," said Assembly Member Feuer. "I am grateful for the broad support this bill has garnered from the business community, as well as organizations representing seniors, consumers and working families. But until AB 52 is signed, California families and businesses will continue to have to depend on the whim of an insurance company to halt an unjustified rate increase."
"In a struggling economy, small businesses are the backbone to economic recovery and job creation. However, small businesses have trouble attracting talented employees because many people cannot afford to take a position that does not provide health insurance," said Aubry Stone, CEO of the California Black Chamber of Commerce.
"AB 52 will help small businesses provide health insurance for their employees. When employees have reliable health care, they become more productive. The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce strongly supports this critical measure," said Julian Canete, CEO of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Introduced in December 2010, AB 52 would require health plans and insurers to seek approval from state regulators prior to raising health care premiums, copayments, or deductibles. The bill now moves to the Senate.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 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. Out-of-state callers, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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