Bill S3454-2013

Relates to primary medical malpractice insurance coverage

Lowers the primary medical malpractice coverage that a physician or dentist must have in force in order to be eligible for the NYS Excess Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Coverage program.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO INSURANCE
  • Feb 1, 2013: REFERRED TO INSURANCE

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3454

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 266 of the laws of 1986, amending the civil practice law and rules and other laws relating to malpractice and professional medical conduct, in relation to terms of insurance coverage

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to amend the Excess Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Coverage Program (created by Chapter 266 of the Laws of 1986) to lower the primary medical malpractice layer required to be eligible for the Excess Program from its currently required level of $1.3 million for each claimant/$3.9 million for all claimants to $1M for each claimant/$3M for all claimants.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of § 18 of Chapter 266 of the Laws of 1986 (as amended by § 15 of Part C of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2011) to change the required level of primary medical malpractice coverage that a physician or dentist must have in force in order to be eligible for the NYS Excess Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Coverage Program. Currently the required level is $1.3M for each claimant/$3.9M for all claimants, this legislation would change the level to $1M for each claimant/$3M for all claimants. The total aggregate coverage level will remain $2.3M for each claimant/$6.9M for all claimants.

Section 2 is the effective date.

EXISTING LAW: The NYS Excess Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Coverage Program was created by Chapter 266 of the Laws of 1986 and was last amended by § 49 of Part A of Chapter 58 of the Laws of 2007.

JUSTIFICATION: The Excess Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Coverage program was created in 1996 to help stabilize the cost of medical malpractice liability insurance in NYS, which was already high and skyrocketing during the mid-1980's. It was felt that such stability would be critical to preserving access to physicians, especially highrisk specialty care practitioners. It was feared that, without such stability (or outright tort reform), these doctors would leave NYS practice as a result of high premiums and malpractice litigation.

The Excess Program has been extended for varying periods (usually 1-3 years) since its inception. The funding mechanism for the program has changed several times and in 2002 was made a component of the Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) and funded from the HCRA Pools. Concomitantly with moving the funding source of the Excess Program to HCRA, the required level of primary medical malpractice coverage that a physician or dentist must have in force in order to be eligible for Excess coverage was increased from $1M for each claimant/$3.M for all claimants to

$1.3M for each claimant/$3.9M for all claimants: While this lessened the Premium cost that HCRA was obligated to cover and made more funds available for other HCRA programs, it raised the cost of primary medical malpractice coverage to physicians and dentists by approximately 60. This bill would return the primary coverage requirement to its pre-2002 level of $1M for each claimant/$3M for all claimants and is expected to reduce physician and dentists primary medical malpractice premiums by 'approximately 6% which would ease the burden that these providers are bearing due to rapidly escalating medical malpractice premiums.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2008: S.7038 Passed Senate/Assembly Codes Committee 2009-10: S.2959 Insurance Committee 2011-12: S.4446 Insurance Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: The cost to HCRA is estimated to be between $45M and $65M.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3454 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 1, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. FLANAGAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance AN ACT to amend chapter 266 of the laws of 1986, amending the civil practice law and rules and other laws relating to malpractice and professional medical conduct, in relation to terms of insurance cover- age THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 18 of chapter 266 of the laws of 1986, amending the civil practice law and rules and other laws relating to malpractice and professional medical conduct, as amended by section 15 of part C of chapter 59 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: (a) The superintendent of insurance and the commissioner of health or their designee shall, from funds available in the hospital excess liability pool created pursuant to subdivision 5 of this section, purchase a policy or policies for excess insurance coverage, as author- ized by paragraph 1 of subsection (e) of section 5502 of the insurance law; or from an insurer, other than an insurer described in section 5502 of the insurance law, duly authorized to write such coverage and actual- ly writing medical malpractice insurance in this state; or shall purchase equivalent excess coverage in a form previously approved by the superintendent of insurance for purposes of providing equivalent excess coverage in accordance with section 19 of chapter 294 of the laws of 1985, for medical or dental malpractice occurrences between July 1, 1986 and June 30, 1987, between July 1, 1987 and June 30, 1988, between July 1, 1988 and June 30, 1989, between July 1, 1989 and June 30, 1990, between July 1, 1990 and June 30, 1991, between July 1, 1991 and June 30, 1992, between July 1, 1992 and June 30, 1993, between July 1, 1993 and June 30, 1994, between July 1, 1994 and June 30, 1995, between July 1, 1995 and June 30, 1996, between July 1, 1996 and June 30, 1997,
between July 1, 1997 and June 30, 1998, between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 1999, between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000, between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001, between July 1, 2001 and June 30, 2002, between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003, between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004, between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005, between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006, between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007, between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009, between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 and between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 or reimburse the hospital where the hospital purchases equivalent excess coverage as defined in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of subdivision 1-a of this section for medical or dental malpractice occurrences between July 1, 1987 and June 30, 1988, between July 1, 1988 and June 30, 1989, between July 1, 1989 and June 30, 1990, between July 1, 1990 and June 30, 1991, between July 1, 1991 and June 30, 1992, between July 1, 1992 and June 30, 1993, between July 1, 1993 and June 30, 1994, between July 1, 1994 and June 30, 1995, between July 1, 1995 and June 30, 1996, between July 1, 1996 and June 30, 1997, between July 1, 1997 and June 30, 1998, between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 1999, between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000, between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001, between July 1, 2001 and June 30, 2002, between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003, between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004, between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005, between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006, between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007, between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009, between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 and between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 for physicians or dentists certified as eligible for each such period or periods pursuant to subdivision 2 of this section by a general hospital licensed pursuant to article 28 of the public health law; provided that no single insurer shall write more than fifty percent of the total excess premium for a given policy year; and provided, however, that such eligible physicians or dentists must have in force an individ- ual policy, from an insurer licensed in this state of primary malprac- tice insurance coverage in amounts of no less than one million [three hundred thousand] dollars for each claimant and three million [nine hundred thousand] dollars for all claimants under that policy during the period of such excess coverage for such occurrences or be endorsed as additional insureds under a hospital professional liability policy which is offered through a voluntary attending physician ("channeling") program previously permitted by the superintendent of insurance during the period of such excess coverage for such occurrences. During such period, such policy for excess coverage or such equivalent excess cover- age shall, when combined with the physician's or dentist's primary malp- ractice insurance coverage or coverage provided through a voluntary attending physician ("channeling") program, total an aggregate level of two million three hundred thousand dollars for each claimant and six million nine hundred thousand dollars for all claimants from all such policies with respect to occurrences in each of such years [provided, however, if the cost of primary malpractice insurance coverage in excess of one million dollars, but below the excess medical malpractice insur- ance coverage provided pursuant to this act, exceeds the rate of nine percent per annum, then the required level of primary malpractice insur- ance coverage in excess of one million dollars for each claimant shall be in an amount of not less than the dollar amount of such coverage
available at nine percent per annum; the required level of such coverage for all claimants under that policy shall be in an amount not less than three times the dollar amount of coverage for each claimant; and excess coverage, when combined with such primary malpractice insurance cover- age, shall increase the aggregate level for each claimant by one million dollars and three million dollars for all claimants;]
and provided further, that, with respect to policies of primary medical malpractice coverage that include occurrences between April 1, 2002 and June 30, 2002, such requirement that coverage be in amounts no less than one million three hundred thousand dollars for each claimant and three million nine hundred thousand dollars for all claimants for such occur- rences shall be effective April 1, 2002. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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