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News: 2011 Press Release
For Release: June 29, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones Highlights Massive Savings for Consumers; Says AB 52 Could Produce Similar Savings
Rate review has resulted in tens of billions of dollars in savings for Californians
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that since 1988, when California voters passed it, the rate review component contained in Proposition 103 has saved consumers more than $62 billion by empowering the Insurance Commissioner with the authority to reject excessive rate filings for automobile insurance. Proposition 103, though, does not provide the Insurance Commissioner with a similar authority for health insurance.
"Californians passed Proposition 103 in 1988 because they were tired of being regularly subjected to excessive premiums by insurers," Commissioner Jones said. "This important initiative has proved a tremendous benefit to California's consumers, and it's time we finally add another critical dimension to it, and that's AB 52, which would give me the power to reject excessive health insurance rate increases. I feel confident that most Californians would agree that health insurance is every bit as important as automobile insurance. AB 52 would bring some much-needed relief to millions of Californians who are struggling to make ends meet during this down economy."
AB 52 is scheduled to be the first bill heard today at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Health Committee.
"I would like to strongly urge Senators to pass AB 52 and give hard-working Californians a well-earned break from the barrage of excessive health insurance rate increases they've been forced to endure over the last several years," Commissioner Jones added. "Proposition 103 has put tens of billions of dollars back in the pockets of Californians up and down our great state, and AB 52 has the potential to do exactly the same."
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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