Consumer Watchdog filed a ballot initiative in California to make health insurance companies open their books to forcing them to justify, under penalty of perjury, their proposed rate changes before they take effect.
If enough signatures–504,760,to be exact–are collected by May 1, 2012, the initiative will be on the ballot next year, for the Nov. 6, 2012 election.
The initiative is titled The Insurance Rate Public Justification And Accountability Act.
“Getting control of health insurance premium increases in California is like trying to slow down a run-away train. Health insurance companies can raise their rates at will, and they don’t even have to open their books and get permission from our insurance commissioner first,” stated Consumer Watchdog in its blog.
Consumers and some regulators are pushing for rate disclosures and premium justifications from health insurers as many have complained costs are spiraling beyond what policyholders can afford.