Jones Bill to Rein in Skyrocketing Health Insurance Costs Passes Key Hurdle

by California Political Desk, California Chronicle

Sacramento – Today, Assemblymember Dave Jones was successful in the Senate Health Committee which passed AB 2578, his legislation to prevent excessive health insurance premium increases. This bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation under consideration this year. Californians continue to face enormous health insurance rate increases.

Currently, the State Insurance Commissioner lacks the authority to prevent excessive health insurance rate increases. Jones first introduced similar legislation in 2007, but that year the bill failed in the Senate Health Committee by one vote after passing the State Assembly.

Assembly Bill 2578 (Jones and Feuer) requires that prior approval be obtained before health insurance rates are increased. HMOs and health insurers would need to receive approval from the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) or the Department of Insurance for proposed rate increases. The Department would have sixty days to act after receiving the rate application.

"Californians are calling for health insurance rate relief. Today