Insurance Reform Needed to Lower New York Doctors' Medical Malpractice Rates, California Consumer Watchdog Testifies

side note: California has long been on the cutting edge of medical liability tort reform. It was the first state in the nation to institute a cap on non-economic damages with the 1975 Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) of 1975. The cap helped California stabilize liability costs, particularly for specialty and high-risk services such as women’s healthcare, community clinics, health centers and rural providers who can least afford skyrocketing insurance costs.

MICRA was strengthened with the passage of Proposition 103 in 1988. Prop 103 mandated that every insurer reduce its rates by 20 percent, unless such rollback would lead to a company’s insolvency. It also mandated changes in property-and-casualty insurance (medical malpractice insurance) rates had to be approved by the insurance commissioner.

Prior to Prop 103, insurance companies were not required to file rates for approval except for health and life. Essentially, only competition regulated the marketplace, and many thought that the insurance companies were in collusion in their attempt to inflate rates. Due to Prop 103, Rate Filing Bureaus were created in the Rate Regulation Division to implement the following provisions of Proposition 103.

The following article details how one of the authors of Prop 103 recently testified in New York on how this form of rate regulation is crucial to getting a grip on the state’s out-of-control medical malpractice insurancepremiums.

NEW YORK, Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The author of California’s insurance regulatory reform…… (continue reading)