California Insurance Commissioner Puts Insurers In The Hot Seat
News outlets detail how California's new insurance commissioner has taken a strong stance against insurers who propose increases for rates on individual policies.
The Wall Street Journal: Health Insurers Feel Heat In California
California is once again a hot spot in the battle over the rising cost of health insurance. Just 72 hours into his new job, the state's insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, started challenging insurance companies that are raising prices on individual policies. On Jan. 6, he called on Blue Shield of California to delay premium increases of up to 59%. This week, he asked Aetna Inc. and units of WellPoint Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. to postpone their price jumps as he reviews them (Johnson, 1/14).
California Healthline: Broader Enforcement Power for Insurance Commissioner?
A few hours after he was sworn in as the new commissioner of the California Department of Insurance, Dave Jones said he wanted the state to make sure PPO health insurers spend 80% of their revenue on health benefit payouts. That 80% figure is the new federal mandate, and Jones wants to make it clear to insurers that the state is going to check up on them and enforce that law (Gorn, 1/13).
McClatchy/The Sacramento Bee: Californians Want To Know When Insurance Rate Hikes Will Cease
Health insurance premiums have been rising for everyone, but the 2.5 million Californians who buy insurance on their own rather than receiving it through an employer have been particularly hard-hit lately. Since last fall, Blue Shield has raised rates three times, amounting to a 30% increase on average, for its nearly 200,000 individual customers (Calvan, 1/13).