Insurance Commissioner Could Have Greater Role Under New Reform Law
The responsibilities of California's insurance commissioner could expand greatly over the next four years, as the new federal health reform law takes effect, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In addition to regulating traditional health insurance companies, the new law places the insurance commissioner in charge of implementing new protections for insured residents and setting up not-for-profit health insurance exchanges.
Currently, four major party candidates are vying for a seat as California's insurance commissioner in the November election.
Democratic Assembly members Hector De La Torre (South Gate) and Dave Jones (Sacramento) will face off in a primary election on June 8.Â Brian Fitzgerald (R) and Assembly member Mike Villines (R-Clovis) will be on the Republican primary ballot.
All four candidates have expressed support for increasing the insurance commissioner's ability to oversee HMOs, which currently fall under theÂ authority of the Department of Managed Health Care. The governor appoints the director of DMHC.
Jones has proposed a bill (AB 2578) that wouldÂ authorize theÂ insurance commissioner to approve or reject insurance companies' requests for premium increases.De La Torre and Fitzgerald support the proposal, but Villines voted against a similar measure last year (Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, 5/26). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.