N.J. Issues First Subsidies to Doctors for Malpractice Premiums

October 25, 2005

New Jersey Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan announced that the first checks to help doctors pay high malpractice insurance premiums are in the mail.

The subsidies are being distributed to eligible medical practitioners under the Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Premium Assistance Fund (MMLIPA). The subsidy payments, nearly $11,000 each to 1,200 physicians, implement a section of the New Jersey Medical Care Access and Responsibility and Patients First Act of 2004. The Act seeks to protect medical access for New Jersey residents in part by offering assistance in the payment of medical
malpractice insurance premiums for physicians in certain high-risk specialties.

Practitioners and healthcare providers in obstetrics/gynecology, neurosurgery and diagnostic radiology were eligible to apply for subsidies.

“It is important for all medical practitioners to understand that this is the first year of a three-year program,” said Bryan. He said that physicians who were not eligible for the subsidy this year will be included in the review next year and some of those practitioners may be found to be eligible.

The insurance department worked in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services in determining which medical specialties and subspecialties were eligible for assistance this year.

While 65 percent of the fund is dedicated to premium relief, the remainder will benefit hospital charity care, NJ FamilyCare and student loan reimbursement for obstetricians and gynecologists who are committed to practicing in the state.

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