|By Greg Mellen, San Bernardino County Sun, Calif.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The group, Consumer Watchdog, called the hikes announced last year outrageous, but representatives from
"If we find (the increase) to be unreasonable, we would ask (
However, unlike the automobile, home and business insurance industries that need to get approval for rate hikes, medical insurers aren't under such constraints.
Rocco said the state has no authority to require that an insurer comply.
Earlier this year, California Insurance Commissioner
The company disagreed with the finding and the department's methodology and continued the hike.
As for the new hikes,
Consumer Watchdog says medical insurance hikes in
Evans said the federal Affordable Care Act requirement that 80 percent to 85 percent of all costs go to medical care is a de facto consumer protection.
She said it is the underlying costs of providing medical care that drive up medical insurance rates.
"Rate regulations do nothing to address the underlying causes," she said.
Ng said part of the reason for the upward spiral in insurance costs is that as health care costs have risen, young and healthy people have elected to drop insurance "leaving the remaining pool as older and less healthy."
(c)2013 the San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, Calif.)
Visit the San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, Calif.) at www.sbsun.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services