SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A bill authored by California’s insurance commissioner would require health insurance companies to get permission from regulators before implementing a rate hike. The bill is being heard in a state senate committee Wednesday afternoon.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones calls the health insurance rate increases year after year in California unsustainable for families and businesses.

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“It explains why we have over seven million Californians who cannot afford insurance, and why so many businesses have given up on providing insurance for their employees,” said Jones.

Jones said he’s struggling to bring sanity to the system with his proposed legislation.

UCLA Professor Dylan Roby of the Center for Health Policy Research said that 34 other states currently have similar health premium regulation.

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KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“It really goes a long way toward making it a fair playing field for individuals and small group businesses that traditionally have been exploited in this market,” said Roby.

The rate regulation bill is being heard in the state senate health committee after narrowly passing the assembly last month.

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