The Texas Department of Insurance praised the recent rate reductions filed by the Texas Medical Liability Insurance Underwriting Association, commonly referred to as the Joint Underwriting Association. TDI said in a rate filing with the department dated March 9, 2005, the JUA indicated its medical liability rates for physicians will decrease by 10 percent beginning April 1.
The JUA provides medical liability insurance coverage for over 2500 physicians in Texas. The rate reductions represent over $6 million in savings for physicians covered by the JUA.
The JUA serves as the insurer of last resort for physicians who cannot find medical liability coverage on the open market. Total enrollment in the JUA declined significantly in 2004 as the medical liability market stabilized and more physicians were able to find insurance in the voluntary market.
“This rate reduction is further evidence that the medical malpractice reforms of 2003 are working,” said Texas Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor. “JUA now joins the host of insurers that are part of this turnaround in the last year and half, either through reducing rates or re-entering the medical liability market. It’s a lengthy process but we fully expect these trends to continue.”
In filing its rate reduction, JUA joins the Texas Medical Liability Trust (covering approximately 13,000 physicians), which reduced rates a total of 16.4 percent in 2004; the American Physicians Insurance Exchange (covering about 3,500 physicians), which reduced rates an average of 5 percent effective May 1, 2005; and The Doctors’ Company (covering about 1,300 physicians), which reduced rates on average from 9 to 14 percent, also effective May 1.