Today, the California Secretary of State’s website reports that the Health Insurance Rate Justification and Accountability Act has enough valid signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. If approved by voters in November 2014, the voter signature-driven initiative:
- Requires health insurance rate changes to be approved by Insurance Commissioner before taking effect.
- Requires sworn statement by health insurer as to accuracy of information submitted to Insurance Commissioner to justify rate changes.
- Provides for public notice, disclosure and hearing on health insurance rate changes, and subsequent judicial review.
- Does not apply to employer large group health plans.
- Prohibits health, auto and homeowners insurers from determining policy eligibility or rates based on lack of prior coverage or credit history.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told supporters in an email this morning:
“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. 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.”
Click here for the full text of the initiative.