Malpractice insurer to refund money

Associated Press
http://www.bnd.com/

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois doctors will get a refund collectively worth $11 million from the state’s largest medical malpractice insurer.

The Illinois State Medical Insurance Exchange says claims are down. That means doctors will get credits when they renew their policies. Individual doctors will get around $500 to $1,000.

Dr. Harold Jensen chairs the insurer’s board. He says a 2005 state law that capped non-economic damages paid to successful plaintiffs helped lower malpractice insurance costs.

But Bruce Kohen, president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, credits another part of the 2005 reforms. State regulators now have the power to review insurance rates. Kohen says that’s what prompted the giveback of the excess premiums to doctors.

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