Former Missouri Insurance Commissor Jay Angoff analyzed the financial statements of the 15 largest medical malpractice insurance companies in the U.S. His report found there was no basis for high insurance rates. The 15 largest insurers paid out an average of 31.4 cents in claims for every dollar they collected in 2006. That means that for every $1 that a hospital or health care provider paid in insurance premiums, insurance companies were able to keep 68.6 cents, using that money to fund executive salaries, marketing and advertising, and lawyers and lobbyists, among other things. What the companies didn’t spend on those things, they continued to hold in reserve. There is no reason why doctors shouldn’t fight back at their own insurance companies and demand rate rollbacks.
Further, the report notes that over the last three years, the economic losses of the 15 largest insurers fell by 50%, even as many publicly claimed that their losses were increasing.
The report comes at a time when physicians and other health care providers are complaining about the high cost of malpractice insurance, and while health care costs in the U.S. continue to rise exponentially. Insurance companies and tort reformers want to use high malpractice premiums as an excuse to enact restrictive “reform” measures that do not allow the doctors to be held personally responsible for the harms they cause. This report, once again proves, without a doubt, that the culprit in this equation is the insurance industry. They are exempt from the anti-trust laws, and the time has come to end that.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to our section on Medical Malpractice.