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News: 2011 Press Release
For Release: August 25, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones Applauds Passage of AB 52 By Senate Appropriations Committee
Bill would give Commissioner authority to reject excessive health care premiums
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones applauded the passage of AB 52 (Assemblymember Feuer) by the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 6 to 3. The bill would protect consumers and businesses by giving the Insurance Commissioner the power to reject excessive health insurance rate increases.
"The passage of this bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee is a very important step," Commissioner Jones said. "California consumers have made it abundantly clear that they want the Insurance Commissioner to have the authority to reject excessive health insurance rates."
The Insurance Commissioner has the authority under Proposition 103 (passed by Californians in 1988) to reject excessive premiums for auto and homeowners insurance. As a member of the Assembly, Jones introduced this legislation three times. The need for it has only grown, as health insurance continues to become unaffordable for more and more Californians and they are continually pressed to spend more of their hard earned dollars to obtain necessary coverage for their families.
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 will now head to the Senate floor.
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.