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News: 2013 Press Release

For Release: February 20, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones issues statement to oppose geographic rating proposals that would result in rate increases for California healthcare consumers

SACRAMENTO-Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones released the following statement today after Senate and Assembly health committees held hearings during a Special Session of the Legislature to examine bills ABX1-2 (Pan) and SBX1-2 (Hernandez) to implement federal healthcare reform:    

"I am disappointed that the special session affordable care act bills were not amended to reduce the up to 23 percent rate increases associated with the new geographic rating regions in the bills. It is critical that the Legislature amend these bills to avoid an increase of up to 23 percent on hundreds of thousands of Californians in 2014."

"There are a multitude of factors beyond our control that could increase healthcare rates on Californians. But geographical rating is one of the few things that the Legislature has the power to address on behalf of consumers. I have presented a proposal that minimizes rate increases associated with new geographic rating regions. The other proposals under consideration simply do not minimize rate increases; instead each of them would result in significant rate increases for significant numbers of California policyholders.

"This is a complicated, but important task. We should not act in haste. There is still time to get this right. We have an opportunity to protect consumers and minimize the rate increases that many Californians could experience."

Media note:

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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 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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