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Health insurance Rates Soar in California

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While the House of Representatives is moving towards repealing the national healthcare reform law passed last year, residents of the nation's largest state are facing another round of health insurance rate hikes.

Blue Shield of California, which raised rates twice in the last quarter of 2010, plans another rate hike for March 1, 2011 for its 193,000 policyholders. The increases would average between 30 and 35 percent, and the three rate hikes in six months mean an increase in the cost of health insurance by as much as 59 percent.

California Regulator Erred in Issuing Treatment Memo, State Judge Rules

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SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) overstepped its constitutional authority in issuing a memorandum to health insurance companies on how to handle consumer complaints about autism treatment, a state judge ruled Dec. 30 (Consumer Watchdog v. California Department of Managed Health Care, Cal. Super. Ct., No. BS121397, 12/30/10).
 

Insurance Chief Jones Urges Blue Shield to Delay Big Rate Hike

Only days into the job, state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones faced off with the health insurance industry Thursday, calling on Blue Shield of California to delay plans to raise premiums by as much as 59 percent on nearly 200,000 Californians who buy health coverage on their own.

Jones, a Sacramento Democrat who was sworn in Monday, also renewed his push to give his agency the authority to reject "excessive rate increases."

Healthcare: What About the Mandate?

In this heated GRIT-TV debate, Jamie Court argues mandatory health insurance purchases are not necessary for health care reform to work and, in fact, undermine the best parts of the federal health care reform law.

 

All Americans will have to have health insurance by 2014 , but there is no limit on how much health insurance companies can charge consumers. Court argues that is immoral and offers a way ahead.

Wi-Spying Broke South Korean Law; Multi-state Probe Continues

South Korean police said Thursday that Google broke the country's privacy laws when its Street View cars gathered personal information from private Wi-Fi networks.  Meanwhile, in the United States, a spokeswoman for Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen told me in a telephone call that the multi-state investigation into Wi-Spy is ongoing.

Five Dangerous Myths About California's Medical Malpractice Restrictions

Myth #1: Legal Restrictions on Victims Lowered California Doctors' Malpractice Premiums.

Facts: Californians enacted the strongest insurance rate regulation in the nation in 1988 through insurance reform Proposition 103 (Prop 103), a ballot initiative passed by the voters and authored by Consumer Watchdog founder Harvey Rosenfield. This law resulted in a rate freeze, a rate rollback, and stringent regulation that reduced premiums in all lines of insurance -- including medical malpractice.