Calif. bill would limit health insurance rate hikes to once a year

SACRAMENTO — California health insurance providers would be prohibited from raising their rates more than once a year under a bill moving through the state Legislature.

The state Senate on Monday voted 21-13 in favor of AB2042. The bill now moves to the Assembly.

It would apply to individual health care policies, not group plans.

Supporters say the measure would provide Californians with greater predictability when it comes to their health insurance.

Opponents include some of the state's largest health insurers. They say breaking up fee increases throughout the year reduces the financial burden on consumers.

The legislation would take effect in January, three years before the new federal health care law is set to kick in.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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