Commissioner, California Department of Insurance
Dave Jones is California's Insurance Commissioner. He was first elected Insurance Commissioner on November 2, 2010 and re-elected November 4, 2014. Jones leads the California Department of Insurance and regulates the California insurance market. Insurers collect $310 billion a year in premiums in California, making it the nation's largest insurance market. Since taking office, Jones has secured crucial victories for consumers, including:
- Saved California consumers and businesses over $3.12 billion in premiums by regulating rates for auto, homeowners and other property and casualty insurance;
- Implemented healthcare reform, including market reforms to protect consumers and expanded access to health insurance;
- Issued emergency regulations establishing stronger requirements for health insurers to create and maintain sufficient medical provider networks to provide timely access to medical care;
- Saved California consumers $344 million through the review of health insurance rates;
- Recovered more than $512 million for consumers from consumer complaints and market conduct exams;
- Sponsored successful legislation to give small employers more time to comply with the Affordable Care Act;
- Reduced medical malpractice insurance rates, saving medical providers $61 million;
- Required health insurance companies to cover an essential treatment for autism;
- Protected California's seniors with new laws on the sale of annuities;
- Obtained insurance company investments in low and moderate income communities;
- Investigating insurance fraud, which has led to nearly 7,500 arrests to date;
- Won major anti-fraud lawsuits combating healthcare provider fraud, which costs consumers hundreds of millions of dollars;
- Led a national investigation of life insurers' failure to pay billions of dollars in death benefits and successfully obtained enforcement settlement agreements with 30 of the top 40 largest life insurers requiring them to pay more than $8.7 billion to beneficiaries nationally, and more than $890 million to California beneficiaries alone.
- Established the successful Insurance Diversity Initiative to increase procurement from California's diverse suppliers and diversity amongst insurer governing boards and increased the amount of goods and services the insurance industry purchased from California's diverse businesses (woman, minority, disabled, veteran, and LGBT-owned businesses) by 83% since 2012, a $770 million increase over four years.
- Established first in the nation climate risk financial disclosures for insurers.
In 2017, the American Medical Association awarded Jones the prestigious Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service for his work advancing public health including implementing the Affordable Care Act, blocking the Anthem Cigna and Aetna Humana mergers, improving provider network adequacy, and moving closer to achieving mental health parity. The Daily Journal, the state's largest legal newspaper named him one of California's Top 100 Lawyers. The Greenlining Institute gave Jones their "2012 Big Heart Award" for his work promoting insurance industry diversity. Jones received the 2012 Distinguished Advocate Award from Autism Speaks.
Jones served in the California State Assembly from 2004 through 2010, where he chaired the Assembly Health Committee, the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Named "Consumer Champion" by the California Consumer Federation, Jones was also awarded the "Leadership Award" by the Western Center on Law and Poverty. Planned Parenthood, Environment California, the Urban League, Preschool California and CalPIRG have all honored his work. Capitol Weekly named Jones California's "most effective legislator" other than the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore. The American Psychiatric Association awarded Jones its prestigious Jacob K. Javits Public Service Award in 2015 for his work on mental health parity.
As a legislator, Jones had more than seventy bills signed into law, including:
- Reforming California's conservatorship laws, enacting sweeping protections for seniors and dependent adults facing abuse (Assembly Bill 1363 of 2006);
- Preventing HMOs and health insurers from discriminating against women by charging men and women different rates for the same health insurance policies (Assembly Bill 119 of 2009);
- First-in-the-nation "green insurance" legislation allowing Californians to share their personal vehicles in car-sharing pools without invalidating their auto insurance (Assembly Bill 1871 of 2010);
- Securing billions in federal funding to improve California's hospital health care safety net and fund children's health care by establishing a hospital provider fee (Assembly Bill 1383 of 2009);
- Protecting private medical records from misuse (Assembly Bill 1298 of 2007) and disclosure (Assembly Bill 211 of 2008;
- Creating one of the nation's largest early childhood education and preschool programs to give children the best possible start (Assembly Bill 2759 of 2008).
Jones began his career as a legal aid attorney, providing free legal assistance to the poor with Legal Services of Northern California from 1988 to 1995. In 1995, Jones was one of only 13 Americans awarded the prestigious White House Fellowship. He served in the Clinton Administration for three years as Special Assistant and Counsel to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Jones served on the Sacramento City Council from 1999 to 2004.
Jones graduated with honors from DePauw University, Harvard Law School and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He and his wife, Kim Flores, have two children, Isabelle and William.