Backers of the proposed measure want tightened control over rates.
Those behind a proposed ballot measure that is designed to help to provide tightened regulation of California health insurance rates have submitted petition signatures numbering approximately 800,000.
These backers are now feeling confident that they will qualify for the election on November 6.
Throughout the weeks to come, the secretary of state and the county election offices will decide whether or not this measure will meet the requirements that state that there must be 504,760 valid registered voter signatures in order to qualify. The deadline for qualification this year is June 28.
This effort is likely to begin a campaign at a significant cost, based on the significantly increasing California health insurance costs, which have been frustrating and infuriating residents of the state over the last few years. The purpose of the measure will be to impose regulations over increases in the rates of these policies when they are sold to small businesses and individuals alike.
The measure would affect the rates of the plans carried by approximately 5 million people.
That said, it would have no impact on the 15 million plans held by Californians who have coverage through their large employers.
At the end of last week, the insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, worked alongside Consumer Watchdog activists who were leading the ballot drive, as they submitted the boxes filled with voter signatures for the petition. Jones stated that “Over 34 states have given the insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive rates.” He added that “This isn’t a novel idea. California is behind the rest of the nation.”
Should the ballot initiative pass, it would provide the state’s Department of Insurance and Jones the same authority over setting rates that are already in place in the property and auto coverage sectors.
Those opposed to the ballot measure have stated that its implementation would simply form a new expensive bureaucracy at a point in time when the budget deficits in the state are already on the rise, and that it doesn’t do anything to deal with the actual cause behind the California health insurance premiums increases.