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Medical professional liability insurance limits will remain unchanged in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Mike Consedine today made public his determination that the coverage limits required by law for medical professional liability will remain unchanged for 2012.  In an announcement much-anticipated by insurers and health care providers, Commissioner Consedine indicated that “it cannot be definitively found that additional basic insurance capacity is presently available and as such…limits of coverage for the primary market and Mcare shall remain unchanged.”

As a result of this determination, physicians and other participating health care providers will continue to be required to obtain primary liability insurance covering them for $500,000 per claim, with an additional $500,000 in excess coverage provided through required participation in the Medical Care and Reduction of Error Fund that is managed by the Insurance Department (“Mcare”).

The Commissioner is required under Mcare’s enabling act to study the medical professional liability market every two years to determine whether the private insurance market is capable of assuming additional liability in the primary layer.  (See, 40 P.S. § 1303.711).  If such “capacity” had been found by the Commissioner, it would have triggered the step-down and eventual retirement of the Mcare Fund.  Instead, the Commissioner’s finding will maintain the status quo in Pennsylvania’s medical professional liability coverage requirements for another two years, absent any new legislation designed to accelerate Mcare’s eventual phase-out.

For more information, or for a copy of the announcement, please contact Chris Knight.

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