Ballot Measure Would Control Skyrocketing Health Insurance Rates

Update: Data released on August 27 by the Secretary of State shows that this ballot measure should be on the ballot in November, but was unnecessarily delayed to 2014 due to a flawed signature verification process. The measure missed the deadline to qualify for the 2012 ballot because a short count of signatures incorrectly projected the number of signatures submitted. Read more about the petition signature verification process from the Consumer Watchdog Campaign, sponsor of the ballot measure.

Consumer Watchdog submitted over 800,000 signatures to qualify a health care rate regulation initiative for the November 2012 ballot.  Currently, health insurance companies may raise their premium rates without impunity.  Since 2002, health insurance rates in California have risen over 153%, more than five times the rate of inflation.

The initiative, entitled the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act, would require health insurance companies to submit proposed rate increases to the Department of Insurance. The Insurance Commissioner would have authority to deny or modify a rate hike that is excessive.

The initiative is modeled on Proposition 103, which voters approved in 1988. This measure compels carriers of automobile, homeowners, and other property and casualty insurance to submit rate hikes to the Insurance Commissioner for approval. A national study in 2008 credited Proposition 103 with saving California motorists $62 billion.

County Registrars of Voters throughout California are reviewing initiative petitions to determine if there are enough valid signatures to place the measure on the ballot.

Learn more about the initiative at the Justify Rates website.