Illinois Department of Insurance request that Insurers continue to comply with the 2005 reforms

The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that limitations on non-economic damages in med-mal lawsuits was unconstitutional. This has set in motion a huge PR campaign by all sides involved to cement their stance on the issue. The Illinois Department of Insurance< just made theirs known.

Their latest news release shows that since 2005, there has been a 10% decrease in premiums paid towards professional medical liability insurance. They mention in the news release the following information that helped lower costs for physicians, doctors and other health care professionals:

* A decrease in medical malpractice premiums. Gross premium paid to medical malpractice insurers has declined from $606,355,892 in 2005 to $541,278,548 in 2008;
* An increase in competition among companies offering medical malpractice insurance. In 2008, 19 companies offering coverage to physicians/surgeons each collected more than $500,000 in premiums, an increase from 14 such companies in 2005; and
* The entry into Illinois of new companies offering medical malpractice insurance. In 2008, five companies collected more than $22,000,000 in combined physicians/surgeons premiums – and at least $1,000,000 each in premiums – that did not offermedical malpractice insurance in 2005.

They “encourage” the insurers to do the following:

* Timely respond to Department requests for additional information necessary to determine the manner in which rates are set and the reasonableness of those rates;
* Continue offering insureds quarterly premium payment options;
* Continue offering insureds policies that contain deductibles;
* Continue to submit rate and rule filings to the Department prior to the effective date of the proposed change;
* Continue to offer discounts to insureds who agree to participate in risk management practices; and
* Provide the Department with 180 days notice before discontinuing the writing of insurance in Illinois.

The Department also encourages insurers to continue to provide information and data required by the 2005 Reform Laws, including:

* The insurer’s base rates and a list of available insurance agents; and
* Additional loss, claims, exposure, and expense data as well as company-produced studies of reserves supporting Illinois medical malpractice business and company surplus.

We encourage all Illinois Physicians to request a free medical malpractice insurance quote and make sure your rates are locked in for the next year.

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