Illinois Malpractice Insurers Refuse to Pass Savings to Doctors
State passes tort "reform" measures to lowe malpractice premiums for doctors. Largest medical malpractice insurer posts record profits and gives raises to its executives. Doctors don't see rate reduction. Today it's happening in Illinois, but that's neither the first nor last state where insurers put the screws to the doctors:
The state's biggest malpractice insurer has posted its biggest profit since the 1980s, increasing pressure on the company to cut rates that have surged in the past five years.
Doctors who lobbied alongside ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. two years ago to persuade Illinois lawmakers to limit jury payouts for malpractice victims are still awaiting a break from lofty premiums. ISMIE's $50-million profit and CEO Alexander Lerner's $1-million pay in 2006 puts the rate issue back in the spotlight.
"They're making a lot more money now, and we still haven't seen our rates go down," says Ellen Brull, a partner at a family practice in Niles who has seen her base insurance rate almost double since 2003 to $19,373 last year. "I would expect major reductions."
Source: Chicago Business News, Analysis & Articles | Doctors' insurer sees profit soar | Crain's (Free subscription required.)
If we're passing "reform" measures to get lower insurance premiums, why on Earth don't we require insurers to lower their premiums at the same time?