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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: May 30, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Applauds Passage of AB 1846 by California State Assembly

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that the California State Assembly passed AB 1846, authored by Assembly Member Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park). AB 1846 is sponsored by Commissioner Jones and the California Department of Insurance (CDI). The bill would establish Consumer Owned and Operated Plans (CO-OPs), providing CDI with the necessary oversight to regulate these new non-profit health insurers or health maintenance organization.

"I am pleased that the Assembly passed this important bill which will allow California to participate in the program and receive federal funding," said Commissioner Jones. "These CO-OPs provide value to consumers by returning surplus revenue to members in the form of lower premiums, lower-cost-sharing, and expanded benefits."

As outlined under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a CO-OP is a new type of non-profit health insurer or health maintenance organization that is directed by its customers, uses profit for customers' benefit, and is designed to offer individuals and small businesses affordable, customer-friendly, and high-quality health insurance options. CO-OPs must be licensed as issuers in each state in which they operate and are subject to state laws and regulations that apply to all similarly-situated issuers.

AB 1846 seeks to establish a framework for CO-OPs so California can participate in the program and receive federal funding. Under the ACA, those seeking to form a CO-OP may apply for the $3.8 billion in federal funds in the form of low interest loans. 

The bill now heads to the State Senate.

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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.

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