State insurance commissioner unsure insurance market can support rise in liability insurance limits

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Pennsylvania's insurance commissioner, Jessica K. Altman, recently said she cannot determine whether there is a sufficient additional basic insurance capacity that will increase the basic primary limits for 2018 and 2019, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) reported.

The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act (MCARE) would increase to $750,000 from $500,000 primary professional liability insurance claims next year and is accompanied by a decrease in MCARE limits from $500,000 to $250,000 per claim

"The change in coverage limits, which was designed to eventually phase-out the MCARE Fund, is subject to the insurance commissioner’s evaluation and analysis of the basic medical malpractice insurance coverage market capacity," HAP said. If additional capacity is not available, primary and MCARE Fund coverage limits will continue until the necessary capacity is available.

This year, Deloitte Consulting LLP conducted a study to analyze "market share, leverage ratios and financial strength of medical professional liability insurers in Pennsylvania," HAP said.

The study found factors that could signify that a marketplace is not financially capable of handling a rise in the basic insurance limit, including an increase of nontraditional insurers, data highlighting the net premium to surplus ratios for risk retention groups increasing and an increase in loss ratios.

Altman will re-evaluate the market's ability to support increased basic primary professional liability insurance, according to HAP.

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The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania 4750 Lindle Rd Harrisburg, PA - 17111-2428

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