California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today called an announced rate increase by Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Co. on small business policyholders unreasonable and reiterated his call for regulatory authority to reject excessive rate increases.
During a press conference, Jones said more than 250,000 Anthem policyholders will see an average annual increase of 10.6 percent. Over two years, the increase will be 19.5 percent, Jones said.
Jones also called for Anthem and other in-state insurers not to charge fees in 2013 that they are not obligated to pay under Affordable Care Act provisions until 2014. Jones said he believes collecting fees in 2013 is unlawful and indicated that the California Department of Insurance is considering possible legal options in the future if such fees are collected this year.
Throughout, Jones bemoaned his lack of regulatory authority to reject insurer rate increases. He noted that insurance commissioners in 37 other states have that authority.
A measure that has qualified for the November 2014 state ballot with Jones backing would give the state insurance commissioner that authority.
Read more Wednesday in The Sacramento Bee and at sacbee.com.