TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Garden State companies that provide health insurance to individuals and small businesses can raise rates just by filing the information with the state. However state lawmakers in both the Assembly and Senate are proposing legislation that would require the firms gain approval from New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

One of the bill’s sponsors, Democrat Assemblyman Dan Benson from Hamilton Township, says residents deserve a watchdog when it comes to the complicated issue of rising health care premiums.

If approved, the legislation would also require public hearings on any proposed increases and explanations for the rate hikes would have to be made available on the Department’s website.

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