September 9, 2010

California Health Insurance Legislature Update

The California legislature failed to advance a bill that would have required insurers to obtain state approval before increasing premiums. Stalled by a 17-17 Senate vote, the bill failed to receive the four additional votes needed for the bill to pass. It would have required health insurers to get approval from the Department of Insurance or the Department of Managed Health Care before raising health plan rates or making changes to co-payments, co-insurance or deductibles.

Instead, the legislature passed a bill that would require health insurers to provide consumers with 60 days notice before increasing premiums and submit additional actuarial justification and information for the rate increases. Insurers' also would be required to post on their websites a statement that explains the reasons for the increase. The governor is expected to sign the bill.
As health insurance companies begin to remodel their product portfolio to comply with new Health Care Reform regulations, consumers are urged to compare their health insurance premiums against all available plans offered. Search engines such as provide instant online health insurance proposals comparing all major insurance company plans throughout the state.