September 6, 2012 (Sacramento) – Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced this week that the Health Insurance Rate Justification and Accountability Act has enough valid signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. The measure will give the California Insurance Commissioner the power to review and reject excessive health insurance rate hikes.
“I applaud the consumer coalition, led by Consumer Watchdog, for their tremendous efforts to collect almost 800,000 signatures in order to qualify this critically important ballot measure to rein in excessive health insurance rate hikes,” said Jones. “Health insurance and HMO rates will continue to climb for individuals, families, businesses and labor organizations because we do not have the legal authority to rein in excessive health insurance and HMO rate hikes. This ballot measure will fill a huge missing piece of the federal Affordable Care Act and provide relief for Californians suffering under the rising cost of health insurance.”
Four separate bills backed by Jones in the Legislature to rein in excessive rate hikes all failed to win passage due to opposition of the health insurance industry.
“As a result, we have determined that it is important to go directly to the voters via a ballot measure to give them the chance to decide if they would like to rein in excessive health insurance rate hikes,” Jones concluded.