senate Bill S4446

Relates to primary medical malpractice insurance coverage

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Apr / 2011
    • REFERRED TO INSURANCE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO INSURANCE

Summary

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.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S4446
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Insurance
Law Section:
Insurance
Laws Affected:
Amd §18, Chap 266 of 1986

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4446 REVISED 10/03/11

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 1986 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 high-risk
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 6%.
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

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

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4446

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 5, 2011
                               ___________

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,

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08042-02-1

S. 4446                             2

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

S. 4446                             3

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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