Report: Health Premiums Rose Significantly In 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
A new analysis from California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones paints a dismal picture of health insurance rates.
The report compares the prices of individual health plans in 2013 with this year’s premiums.
Jones, a Democrat, says California's four largest insurers raised premiums from 22 percent to 88 percent, depending on factors such as age and location. He is pushing for more authority to regulate increases.
“We will continue to see considerable and significant rate increases, unless we change our laws here in California, to enable somebody to require these rates to be justified, and to be able to reject excessive rate increases,” Jones said.
Despite assurances from the state that 2014 rates were lower than expected, Jones says he's received thousands of complaints.
Health insurers say the increases are partly due to new mandates in the federal health law. Jones disagrees and says premiums keep rising because of a lack of competition and no check against "excessive rate hikes."
Jones supports Proposition 45, a November ballot measure that would give his office the power to stop rate increases.
The California Association of Health Plans, an insurance industry trade group, says new requirements to provide more comprehensive benefits and limit out-of-pocket costs have driven premiums higher. The groups says while some consumers have paid higher prices, many have seen their premiums go down.
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