The average medical malpractice insurance rate increase for New York doctors this year will be five percent. The increase, which took effect July 1, follows two years of rates freezes.
New York State Insurance Superintendent James J. Wrynn, who approved the rates, said the increase “will help hold the line on costs for physicians while giving the insurance companies the resources to pay claims as they come due.”
Wrynn established new base rates resulting in five percent increases for Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Co. (MLMIC), which is the largest medical malpractice insurer with almost 60 percent of the market, and Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers (PRI), the second largest medical malpractice carrier with almost 30 percent of the market.
Two smaller specialty carriers, Hospitals Insurance Co. (HIC) and Academic Health Professionals Insurance Association, also received five percent increases.
While the average rate will increase by five percent, some doctors’ increases can be somewhat more or less depending on their specialty and location.
The Medical Malpractice Insurance Pool (MMIP) is the state’s insurer of last resort, providing insurance for doctors and others who are not able to get insurance in the voluntary market. For the fewer than 300 doctors covered by the pool, rates will rise an average of 9.9 percent.
“In the short term, this increase will relieve the pressures on both doctors and insurers,” Wrynn said. “But long term, the system is still in crisis and needs to be reformed. We cannot afford to lose doctors because of high medical malpractice insurance rates and we have to make sure patients are properly protected. We will keep working toward a long term solution.”
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