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Baucus Health Plan Won't Rein in Health Insurer Price Gouging of Middle Class; Consumer Watchdog Calls for 'Prior Approval' Rate Regulation in Health Reform
Date:9/16/2009

eregulate.pdf" target="_new">http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org/resources/Regulate_Not_Deregulate.pdf

The components of California's landmark property and casualty insurance regulation law, Proposition 103, include:

** A prior approval system for rates requiring insurers to seek permission from government regulators and justify rate increases. Since 1988, California's Proposition 103 has saved drivers $62 billion while fostering a competitive and still profitable insurance market.

** An intervenor system that allows the public to challenge unnecessary premium hikes. Since 2003, Consumer Watchdog has saved $1.7 billion by challenging unnecessary premium increase and insufficient decrease requests using the public intervention process.

** An elected state-level commissioner accountable to the public directly for premium hikes. To ensure that the reforms would be properly enforced, Proposition 103 made the state insurance commissioner an elected position accountable directly to the voters, not a political appointee.

A 2008 Consumer Federation of America report detailing the savings of Proposition 103 can be downloaded at: http://www.consumerfed.org/pdfs/state_auto_insurance_report.pdf. A related press release is available at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/insurance/articles/?storyId=19888.

In addition, Consumer Watchdog in its report Regulation, Not Deregulation:

** Calls for legal accountability of health insurance companies and HMOs.
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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