Consumer Watchdog proposes new ballot initiative to curb health insurance rate hikes

California health insurance industry being eyeballed Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit advocacy group focused on the insurance industry, has proposed a new ballot initiative to the California Legislature that would put a stop on rising health insurance premiums. The organization claims that the state’s largest insurance companies have increased premiums by 20% since April 1, 2012. Consumer Watchdog suggests that these companies will raise rates a second time in May, and increase that will likely be 20% again. These higher rates have affected more than 1 million Californians, many of whom…

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Ballot initiative faces opposition from California insurance companies and doctors’ group

The California Medical Association (CMA), a health insurance organizations coalition, the California Hospital Association (CHA), and other groups have announced their intentions to work together to oppose a ballot measure that is meant to create California insurance regulation for rate increase on health plans and policies. According to the CMA president-elect, Paul Phinney, this ballot initiative doesn’t do anything to help control the causes of the cost increases in the healthcare system. He added that “I just think this initiative is the wrong idea.” Ballot measure advocates have said that…

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Mercury Insurance to raise rates in California, agitating consumer advocates

Mercury Insurance is looking to raise rates on homeowners and renters insurance policies in California. The company has plans to raise rates by an average of 8.8% for some 300,000 consumers in the state. If state regulators approve the proposal, the company will be generating an additional $19 million per year in profits. Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit organization concerned with fairness for insurance consumers, claims that the proposal is unreasonable because the insurer is already awash with profit. According to Consumer Watchdog, the company paid less than 50 cents on…

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Consumer Watchdog chastises California’s Mercury Insurance for supposed illegal practices

Mercury is looking to raise its auto insurance rates by $89 million in California, a move that consumer advocates are calling “illegal.” Consumer Watchdog, a group concerned with making the California insurance industry more consumer friendly, claims that the insurer is looking to pass a new law that would allow it to raise rates for good drivers that have, simply, not driven for a period of time for any reason. Mercury Chairman George Joseph claims that the legislation the company is backing would save policyholders money, but Consumer Watchdog calls such…

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Anthem Blue Cross faces lawsuit over size of deductibles for health insurance

Consumer Watchdog has filed a lawsuit against Anthem Blue Cross, claiming that the insurer is using “bait and switch” tactics to increase the out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles which must be paid by some of their consumers. This is the second time in a period of eight months that the largest for-profit insurance company in California has faced a lawsuit over claims that its contracts with customers had been breached by mid-year deductible increases. In this most recent case, Consumer Watchdog alleges that over 100,000 policyholders have experienced a misrepresentation of…

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Consumer group in California petitions lawmakers to grant more control to state insurance regulators

California consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has submitted a new proposal to the state attorney general’s office regarding health insurance. Last year, the organization was a driving force behind new auto insurance regulations that pout caps on premiums. Now, the group is backing legislation that would require the state’s health insurers to wait for approval from regulators before collecting premiums from higher rates. Consumer Watchdog is awaiting the approval from the state’s attorney general before it begins to collect the 505,000 signatures needed to bring the issue before the state…

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