Prop 45 is a California ballot measure that, if passed, would require that the state’s insurance commissioner (Dave Jones) approve any changes (including increases) to individual or small group health insurance rates.
The measure would not apply to large group employer health plans, only to individual and small group plans, including those issued through the Covered California health insurance exchange. California voters will vote on the measure in the upcoming November elections.
Like so many propositions, Prop 45 has been met its fair share of controversy. Below we’ll explore the arguments in favor and against Prop 45.
Arguments for Prop 45
Defenders of the measure say it will help regulate rate hikes by insurance companies, which have a history of large rate increases. Insurance Commissioner Jones pointed out that other states have successfully implemented similar rate reviews, which he argues get insurance companies thinking twice about hiking up insurance rates.
Insurance Commission Jones told California Healthline that Covered California has too much control over bargaining power. “When your bargaining partner controls 93% of the market, you don’t have the bargaining power to get better rates,” and he pointed out that four large insurance companies dominate Covered California sign-ups.
Arguments against Prop 45
Opponents of the measure say it gives too much power to a single person (Insurance Commissioner Jones). Importantly, opponents also say it will undermine the rates and quality services that Covered California negotiates with insurance companies, damaging health care reform.
“It’s going to end up hurting Californians,” Covered California board member Susan Kennedy said at a board meeting in August. “It will damage health care reform, perhaps permanently, perhaps fatally, in California and I think perhaps nationally.”
Polls Show Californians Favor Prop 45
The results of an L.A. Times field poll in August revealed that 69% of those polled are in favor of Prop 45. This was true of both Democrats and Republicans. It remains to be seen what the impacts of Prop 45 will be on healthcare reform effort, including Covered California, if Prop 45 is passed.
For more information about enrolling in a Covered California plan, call BenefitPackages today. Open enrollment begins November 15, 2014.