California Health Premiums Soar, Leading To Health Law Talk And Statewide Ballot Initiative
State insurance commissioner Dave Jones predicts that insurers and the California health exchange will take steps to temper premium increases for the coming year.
Los Angeles Times: Health Premiums Soared, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Says
The cost of health insurance for individuals skyrocketed this year in California, with some paying almost twice what they did last year, the state's insurance commissioner said. But Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones predicted that insurers will ease up in the coming year to prevent California voters from approving tough new rate controls on the November statewide ballot as Proposition 45 (Pfeifer, 7/29).
The Associated Press: California Health Premiums Rose Significantly in 2014
California's insurance commissioner released a report Tuesday showing the cost of health-care premiums increased significantly this year, as he pushes for more authority to regulate those costs. California's four largest insurers raised premiums for individuals from at least 22 percent to as much as 88 percent, depending on factors such as age and location, according to the annual report released by Commissioner Dave Jones, a Democrat first elected in 2010. Those figures were calculated comparing the price of an insurer's mid-quality standard plans in 2014 to the insurer's most popular plans in 2013 (Nirrapil, 7/29).
The Sacramento Bee: Jones: Fearful Of Voters, Insurers Will Temper Health Rate Hikes
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who is pushing a ballot measure to give him the power to regulate health insurance rates, released an analysis Tuesday showing that health insurance costs for individuals increased dramatically over the last year. But Jones said he suspects health insurers and the California health exchange, Covered California, will temper premium increases for the coming year in an effort to to avert possible public outcry as the Nov. 4 election approaches. “I fully anticipate that the degree of increases will be modest at best … because Proposition 45 is on the ballot and they are very concerned about creating any sort of backlash from Californians,” Jones said Tuesday. “But after 2015, I think, essentially, the sky is the limit (Cadelago, 7/29).
Meanwhile, in Connecticut -
The CT Mirror: Insurance Department Rejects Anthem Rate Hike, Lowers Others
The Connecticut Insurance Department has rejected proposals by two insurance companies to raise health insurance premiums next year, and rejected the rates proposed by a third company new to the individual market. Regulators approved plans the insurer HealthyCT to lower its rates. In the case of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the department deemed the proposal to raise rates by an average of 12.5 percent to be excessive, and directed the carrier to submit new rate proposals for review. Similarly, the department asked UnitedHealthcare to submit new proposals for plans it intends to sell in 2015. The company doesn’t sell policies in the state’s individual market this year (Becker, 7/29).