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Physicians: Why MMIP (Medical Malpractice Insurance Pool) may be an option.

Physicians: Why MMIP (Medical Malpractice Insurance Pool) may be an option.

13 Jan 2015
13, Jan Jan, 2015

MMIP, or the Medical Malpractice Insurance Pool, is New York’s malpractice insurance liability program for doctors with a history of malpractice claims. For physicians and other health care providers who cannot get coverage through the other standard carriers such as MLMIC or PRI, either due to adverse malpractice claims experience or other licensing issues, MMIP would be their ‘go to’ company.

“The Superintendent of Financial Services has, by regulation (Regulation No. 170), established the New York Medical Malpractice Insurance Plan (“MMIP”), to provide for the equitable distribution, of eligible health care providers and facilities unable to obtain insurance in the voluntary market, to authorized medical malpractice insurers.” Individuals and facilities unable to obtain medical malpractice insurance in the voluntary market, and who have been declined by at least three insurers (or the number writing the coverage if less than three) may apply with MMIP.

MMIP cannot refuse coverage to any physician who applies for coverage, so long as they are actively licensed to practice in the state of NY. However, having this guarantee of getting malpractice coverage comes at a price: MMIP’s published premiums are approximately 3 times that of the standard premiums charged by PRI & MLMIC.

Claims-made & Occurrence coverage:

MMIP offers both types of malpractice coverage: Claims-made and Occurrence. In addition, physicians insured by MMIP can also apply for the Section 18 Excess coverage through their primary hospital.

Free tail coverage:

MMIP offers the same type of tail coverage as PRI and MLMIC.

How Does MMIP Work?

In 2012, New York had the highest payout in the nation for medical malpractice lawsuits: $677 million (Westgate, A., 2012). It’s no wonder that several physicians experience problems getting malpractice insurance coverage for issues like:

  • Excess claims and settlements
  • License issues
  • Hospital privilege revocation
  • Sanctions from the Board

If PRI & MLMIC non-renew or decline coverage due to the above reasons, the alternative could be MMIP. MMIP malpractice insurance is accepted in every hospital in the State of New York. In other words, having MMIP allows you to keep working while knowing that you have a policy to address any future claims.

Alternatives to MMIP

The New York malpractice insurance market has seen the emergence of RRG’s, or Risk Retention Groups. These group self-insurance plans work to cover physician liability from medical malpractice claims, and their competitive rates make them an attractive offering to physicians who pay high premiums with the Pool.

However, we suggest that physicians analyze the benefits of any RRG plan before making a purchase. While the premium rates are lower, you should make sure that the hospitals and facilities you work at accept the RRG policy. MMIP is state regulated and accepted by all hospitals in New York.

The fact is that MMIP’s high premiums could be a deterrent to some physicians who may find it difficult to continue their practice: For example, surgeons insured by MMIP may see their malpractice premiums to be three times higher!! Ob/Gyns could be charged premiums of $500,000 or above based on their claims experience! These premiums may be unsustainable for some physicians. RRG’s are a cost-effective alternative to physicians who cannot get coverage on the voluntary market.

Find Your Best Rate with PriMed Consulting

If you are a physician or dentist having trouble getting reasonable coverage, contact PriMed Consulting, an insurance agency with years of experience helping healthcare professionals get malpractice insurance throughout New York. 800.528.3758.

New York: Medical Malpractice Insurance Pool (MMIP) Information

4 Sep 2012
4, Sep Sep, 2012

The Pool,  or MMIP, provides medical malpractice coverage for physicians and health care providers who are NOT able to get malpractice insurance in the voluntary market.

New York, especially the five boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn or Kings County, New York County, Queens and Richmond) and Long Island, have some of the highest medical malpractice rates in the nation. NY is one of the states that has not enacted any kind of tort reform capping payouts, resulting in steadily increasing med-mal insurance premiums.

Voluntary Insurance Carriers in NY: ’ Reciprocal Insurers (PRI)), Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company ((MLMIC),), and “The Pool ((MMIP),), are the only NY State admitted carriers providing coverage in the voluntary market.

In recent years, Risk Retention Groups ((RRGs)) have entered the NY market, offering competitive premium rates.

Often referred to as “the insurer of last resort MMIP provides insurance for physicians and other health care providers who are not able to get insurance due to underwriting reasons such as: excessive claims activity, excessive settlements, revocation of license issues, temporary revocation of hospital privileges, Medical Board sanctions, etc. It is of no surprise that MMIP charges premium rates that are well above those charged by PRI or MLMIC, sometimes as high as 200-300% of standard rates.

Physicians applying for coverage through MMIP can get limits of $1/3 Million or $1.3/3.9 Million. Physicians who apply for the higher limits and complete the required Risk Management Course can be eligible for the free excess coverage as well.

As more and more hospitals in NY are now accepting physicians insured by RRGs, many physicians insured with MMIP or applying to MMIP can also consider their options with the various RRGs offering medical malpractice coverage in NY.

PriMed Consulting is an independent medical malpractice insurance agency, with access to several carriers in the voluntary market, as well as RRGs. To discuss your med-mal coverage options and determine the best coverage for you and your practice, contact us.