Proposition 45 requires health insurance companies to justify rate increases to the public and receive approval for rate changes by the California Insurance Commissioner. This policy currently applies to all forms of insurance other than health insurance.
The current system in California places no transparency or justification requirements for the rationale behind insurance rate increases. Under the existing model, there is no limitation on how high healthcare premiums could go. As a result, insurance rates continue to rise five times faster than the rate of inflation.
Despite the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the increasing costs of healthcare in the unregulated marketplace mean that many people are unable to afford health insurance they are now required by law to purchase and maintain. This problem is further compounded by the fact that, according to the California Health Care Foundation's January 2014 California Employer Health Benefits Survey, "California workers are less likely to be offered employer-based coverage, and those who are covered pay more in premiums and cost sharing." (Access the entire study at this link). The same study also revealed that "since 2002, premiums in California rose by 185%, more than five times the state's overall inflation rate." (Id. emphasis added).
Prop 45 forces health insurance companies to publicly disclose documentation to justify rate increases. Public disclosure would require health insurers to explain the reasoning behind the rates, promote transparency of the health insurance system, and increase public knowledge of their rights. As stated above, the California Insurance Commissioner would have the right to challenge and reject unjustified and/or excessive rate increases in public hearings- promoting the public interest and increasing accountability for healthcare management. By passing Prop 45, California will join the thirty six other states across the nation that have enacted similar beneficial policies.
Although according to Anti-Prop 45 propaganda, there is currently an independent commission with the authority to negotiate rates with health plans, unfortunately the State Insurance Commissioner cannot block a rate hike because of the extremely influential lobbying power of health insurance company giants like Anthem Blue Cross and Health Net. Prop 45 provides an opportunity for the voters to speak and health insurance companies to listen- No more raising insurance rates with impunity! No more making obscene profits off of Californians in need of health care!
Join the long list of supporters including the Kuvara Law Firm, California Nurses Association, Courage Campaign, California Federation of Teachers, Consumer Federation of California, California National Organization for Women, Consumer Watchdog, California Industrial Areas Foundation, Physicians for a National Health Program, California Chiropractic Association, United States Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and VOTE YES on Prop 45. (Access the full list of supporters here: http://www.yeson45.org/prop-45).
For more information on Prop 45, please visit http://www.yeson45.org/
See Courage campaign website for more information on how insurance companies are spending your health care premiums and tax dollars- http://act.couragecampaign.org/sign/Prop45_49ersBoxSeats_CC/