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Blog Post
11/8/2012
By Carmen Balber
Lost in the ongoing election postmortem was this report yesterday from the Congressional Budget Office that a bill being pushed by the insurance industry and its salespeople to eliminate one of the strongest consumer protections in the health reform law would increase the deficit by more than $1 billion and raise health insurance costs for...
News Release
8/23/2012
CONTACT Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – The California Secretary of State announced today that a ballot initiative to require health insurance companies to publicly justify and get approval for rate increases before they take effect has qualified for the 2014 ballot. The Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act made the ballot after county...
Blog Post
8/21/2012
By Carmen Balber
Senator Jon Tester announced his support for legislation to give state insurance commissioners the authority to say no when insurance companies propose excessive and unjustified premium increases. Tester endorsed a bill sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein of CA, (S 137), to require oversight and approval of health insurance premiums. 35 states...
Blog Post
7/3/2012
By Judy Dugan
One of the best consumer protections of the health reform law was a requirement that health insurance companies spend at least 80% to 85% of your premiums on actual health care, leaving 15% to 20% for overhead and those multimillion-dollar executive salaries. If companies don't meet this efficiency level, the they have to pay back some of...
News Release
7/3/2012
CONTACT Jerry Flanagan
Commissioner Dave Jones Sides With Consumers, Echoes Concerns Raised by Consumer Watchdog in Lawsuit Over the So-Called “Death Spiral”   Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog praised Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones' announcement today opposing Blue Shield's plan to close 23 health insurance policies, and echoing...
News Release
6/28/2012
CONTACT Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – The ballot measure to require health insurance companies to get approval before raising their rates narrowly missed qualifying for November’s ballot by Thursday’s deadline, receiving 109% of the signatures necessary to qualify on a random sample verification rather than the required 110%. Elections officials...
News Release
6/28/2012
CONTACT Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Washington, DC & Santa Monica, CA – Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act and its mandate that individuals purchase health insurance makes rate regulation the next essential phase of health reform, said Consumer Watchdog today. Consumer Watchdog praised the court for requiring...
Blog Post
6/21/2012
By Judy Dugan
Just when consumers are finally getting a look at how health insurance companies conduct their business, the industry is racing to shut and lock the door. Buried deep in a "model law" for states to update health insurance regulation is a clause that would keep secret the companies' justification for  exorbitant rate increases...
News Release
6/21/2012
CONTACT Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – A new national report finds that more Californians died in 2010 because they lack health coverage than did in any other state, a number that is also higher than the number of people who die due to traffic accidents or homicide every year in California. A ballot initiative proposed for the November ballot would increase...
News Release
6/12/2012
CONTACT Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – Health insurance companies will increase rates as high as 24% in July and August for small business customers with more than one million employees, but state regulators currently have no power to reject those increases that can’t be justified. A pending ballot initiative would require health insurance companies to...