There is not evidence of sufficient market capacity at the current time to mandate an increase in primary medical malpractice insurance limits in Pennsylvania, Deputy Insurance Commissioner Randy Rohrbaugh has ruled.
He was responding to a proposal in state law to raise to $750,000 from $500,000 the primary coverage limits health care providers must obtain from private commercial insurance carriers, thereby allowing the state to reduce its participation in the second layer of coverage. He determined that the private marketplace is not in a position to provide the higher primary limits.
“In making this decision, our priority was to protect the consumers who are accessing health care in the state,” Rohrbaugh said. “We did not want to prematurely raise the limits before there is adequate capacity in the medical malpractice insurance marketplace, as this could have an adverse effect on the availability of health care.”
He said the market would not be able to absorb greater risk, “so it would be irresponsible to allow an increase in limits to $750,000 at the primary insurance layer.”
Providers are required to carry $1 million insurance: the first $500,000 from a commercial insurer and the remaining $500,000 from the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare) Fund.