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Health Insurance Premium Rebates Headed to Californians

Aug 2, 2012

Nearly two million Californians should receive a health insurance premium rebate this week. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the rebates are the result of the federal Affordable Care Act.

The federal law requires health insurers to spend at least 80 percent of their premium money on actual health costs, rather than marketing and other non-medical expenses. Insurers who don’t meet that percentage are required to issue refunds. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says premium rebates total about $74 million, or about $65 per family.

“Individuals and families will in some cases receive significantly more in some cases significantly less, it really depends on the extent to which their health insurer failed to miss the mark and for how many policyholders did they fail to meet the mark.”

Jones says his department also plans to audit health insurers to make sure they’re complying with the law. The Department of Managed Health Care oversees two insurers also issuing rebates. United Health Care and Anthem Blue Cross are refunding a total of $42 million to HMO policyholders. That average refund will be about $200.