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Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones asks Insurance Companies to Delay Rate Hikes

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dave Jones was only Insurance Commissioner for a few days before Blue Shield announced its plan to raise its premium rates. Jones has asked them to hold off for 60 days so he could review the proposed rate hikes. But the review might not mean much, regardless of what Jones finds.

"At the end of the day I don't have the authority to reject them unless they violate something called the medical loss ratio which is a requirement that they put 80 cents on the dollar into actual health care."

That's despite the fact that Jones does have the power to reject unnecessary rate hikes with car, home, and casualty insurance. He says he's introduced legislation to extend that power over health care companies three times already, but never successfully. He says he will push for it again in this legislative session.

These new premium hikes would affect individual and family plan members. Jones says they could mean increases of up to 59 percent for some people.  

Jones has made similar requests of Aetna, PacifiCare, and Anthem Blue Cross.
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