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Copy of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Disapproves Blue Shield's Proposal to Close Health Insurance Products for Individuals

News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: July 3, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Major Community Development Investments from Insurers

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced $7.25 million in new investments from insurance companies and banks to benefit underserved communities across California.

The investments-$2.8 million from United Health Care Insurance Company, $1 million from Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company, $1.25 million from CUNA Mutual Group, $500,000 from CSE Insurance Group, and almost $2 million from banks-were made to several community development financial institutions operating in California.

"Last year insurance companies helped me revitalize this program with millions in investments to benefit under-served and rural communities," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Today we thank UnitedHealthCare, Blue Shield of California, CUNA Mutual Group, and CSE for stepping up to the plate and making major community development investments."

Each year, the California Department of Insurance's California Organized Investment Network (COIN) allocates $2 million in tax credits to support $10 million in community development investments. Under the COIN CDFI tax credit program, investors invest a minimum of $50,000 as equity or a zero interest loan with a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) for 60 months. In exchange, the investor receives a 20 percent state tax credit. The CDFIs use these funds to fulfill their mission, by providing loans or other support to small businesses and non-profits that serve economically disadvantaged communities. CDFIs help bridge the growing gap between the loans and services available to the economic mainstream and those offered to low-income people and communities. They provide access to credit in economically disadvantaged communities by providing development services or technical assistance along with the loans and investments they make.

Since the program's inception in 1997, $132.3 million has been put to work in California's most under-served communities, funding important projects like:

  • A mortgage loan for a nonprofit residential alcohol treatment facility;
  • Micro-loans of $500 to $5,000 to self-employed business owners;
  • Loans for six childcare centers to serve 500 low-income children;
  • Pre-development loans to Habitat for Humanity to construct affordable homes;
  • A loan to a church to build a child care center for lower income residents;
  • A loan for 953 water hook-ups in two small, rural communities; and
  • A short-term loan to close escrow on housing for low-income foster youth.

Applications for the remaining $553,295 in tax credits (to support $2.76 million in community investments) will be accepted between July 1 and September 30, 2012.

Additional information about the COIN CDFI Tax Credit Program is available to the public.

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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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