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"Prop 45 Would Give Insurance Commissioner Final Say on Health Premiums"

FSPH assistant professor Dylan Roby talks to Capital Public Radio about how California ballot measure Prop 45 could affect the state's health insurance exchange.
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

CAPITOL PUBLIC RADIO -- When the Affordable Care Act set up a state-run health insurance marketplace, it created a framework through which more than a million people signed up for health care within months. But it also created a new state agency that insurance companies must answer to. 

“We have changed the trend in health care costs. For consumers, we’re making a huge impact,” said Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California, while announcing the exchange’s 2015 rates this past July.

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Not everyone in individual insurance policies have coverage through California's exchange.

“Just because we have Covered California acting as a purchasing agent, it doesn’t mean that every single person has an affordable health plan currently, ” says Dylan Roby, Assistant Professor with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Roby says about a million people are in coverage that don’t benefit from Covered California’s active negotiations, and would get premium protection through Prop45’s rate approval process. Roby says at least 34 other states have such laws, and in many cases, consumers have paid less because of them.

“In the majority of cases it’s true that those insurance commissioners that do have the power over rate regulation, are able to keep premium increases lower than in states that don’t have that power,” he says. 

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