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State Commissioner Says Health Insurance Premiums Should Be Regulated

— California is gearing up to put health reform into effect, but one state official says there's a crucial element missing.

By 2014, everyone will be required to have health insurance. However, unlike in many other states, in California health insurers don't have to get permission from regulators to raise rates.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says it's time to change that. Jones said home and auto insurance rates are already regulated in the state.

"Proposition 103, which gave the insurance commissioner the authority to regulate the rates for those insurance products, has worked very well," Jones said. "It's saved consumers tens of billions of dollars. There's no reason why we can't take the same approach with regard to health insurance, and we should."

A measure to grant that authority didn't make it out of the legislature this year. Insurance companies lobbied hard to defeat it.

Jones says he'll urge lawmakers to try again in 2012.

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Avatar for user 'JEngdahlJ'

JEngdahlJ | October 18, 2011 at 8:50 a.m. ― 5 years, 4 months ago

Latest in our droid series -- Big healthcare reform question: How do health insurers set rates?

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