When insurance companies want to raise car and home insurance rates in California, they must first get approval from state regulators. If a price hike isn’t deemed "fair, reasonable, and adequate," the California Department of Insurance can kill it. The Insurance Commissioner has no such authority over health care insurance, unless a new bill is passed. AB 52 would force health insurance companies to get approval before any rate hikes take effect. The bill has already passed an Assembly vote and was introduced to the Senate Health Committee yesterday (WED). Those opposed to AB 52 argue health insurance rates are set by costs and adding regulation will only increase the costs of health care. Should health insurance be regulated in the same way as auto and home? How have other states dealt with this issue? Why are doctors and hospitals opposed to AB 52?
Mike Feuer, California State Assemblyman, D-42, Authored AB 52
Patrick Johnston, President & CEO, California Association of Health Plans