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Health Insurance Rate Regulation

Blog Post
3/18/2015
Posted by Jamie Court
Remember, months ago, when we called out nonprofit Blue Shield for spending policyholder money to buy a luxury skybox at San Francisco 49ers games? State tax collectors have finally revoked the nonprofit health insurance company’s tax exemption following years of our criticism about its lavish perks, excessive executive pay, padded bank...
News Story
3/18/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Authorities have revoked the tax-exempt status of nonprofit Blue Shield of California, potentially putting it on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in state taxes each year. The move by the California Franchise Tax Board comes as the state's third-largest health insurer faces fresh criticism over its rate hikes, executive pay and $4.2...
News Story
3/18/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
The state Franchise Tax Board has stripped Blue Shield of California of its tax-exempt status, a move that could make the 76-year-old San Francisco health insurer responsible for paying millions in state income taxes. Officials from the tax board would not explain why they took the action in August, but critics have long accused the insurer, until...
News Story
3/18/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
On the Blue Shield of California Web page called “What Does Being a Not-for-Profit Mean to Us?” the health insurer provides an answer: Operationally, it means we don’t answer to Wall Street – we don’t need to generate returns to shareholders. Philosophically, being a not-for-profit means we’re guided by our...
News Story
12/11/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
If an avalanche of citizen initiatives morphs the 2016 ballot pamphlet into an encyclopedia-size volume, blame it on California’s growing legion of nonvoters. November’s record-low turnout means it will be easier than ever to qualify a voter initiative for the ballot, and plenty of groups pushing a cause will probably take advantage....
News Story
11/17/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
The $100 million spent by insurance companies against two pro-consumer initiatives, coupled with an historically low voter turnout, was a recipe for consumers to lose on Election Day. Total spending for and against California Propositions 45 and 46 outpaced even the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the nation - North Carolina's - where the...
News Story
11/12/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
The midterm elections were held on Nov. 4, 2014. Although not a major presidential election, this election determined which political party would have control of the Senate for the next two years. In order to have a majority in the Senate, 51 out of the 100 seats needed to be filled by one political party. The Republican Party was able to obtain...
News Story
11/11/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
A quick look at the good and not-so-good from two local stations - See more at: http://www.cjr.org/the_second_opinion/prop_45_local_tv_coverage_cali.php?page=all&print=true#sthash.XGthyGGL.dpuf A quick look at the good and not-so-good from two local stations Almost lost in the aftermath of last week’s midterm elections was the defeat of...
News Story
11/7/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
The most disturbing trend in the financing of American political campaigns is not the magnitude of the money being spent. It’s that more and more of that money is not going through the campaigns themselves — where donations must be disclosed and limited — but from nonprofit groups that are being set up for the express purpose of...
News Story
11/6/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Already a financial bonanza for health insurers, Obamacare paid off for the industry again at the ballot box as Californians soundly rejected a bid to rein in health insurance rates. Even so, the companies still face heat over their ever-increasing health insurance premiums, and pressure will build on California's Obamacare exchange to hold...