SB 433 - This act creates the Missouri Health Care Stabilization Fund. This fund provides excess medical malpractice coverage to health care providers who participate in the fund. Health care providers must carry primary medical malpractice coverage with another insurer. The liability limits for the primary policy shall not be less than $200,000 for each occurrence and not less than $600,000 for all claims in any one reporting year. The fund will be administered by a Health Care Stabilization Board housed within the Department of Insurance. The board will consist of the Director of the Department of Insurance and nine other members representing health care providers, insurance companies, trial attorneys and the public. All health care providers will be required to pay annual membership fees. In addition to these fees, the director will levy a premium surcharge on each health care provider's medical malpractice insurance policy. The surcharge will be collected from insurance companies when they receive the medical malpractice insurance premiums from the health care providers.
A person may recover from the fund if the person names the fund as a party in the lawsuit. The fund will only pay moneys to the aggrieved party if his or her damages exceed the health care provider's primary level of coverage. The fund may appear as a party in the action. The fund may retain counsel to defend itself. Insurers must provide an adequate defense of the fund in any action and must act in a fiduciary relationship with respect to any claim affecting the fund. The maximum amount recoverable from the fund shall not exceed $800,000 pursuant to any one judgement or settlement for any party against a health care provider and an aggregate cap of $2,400,000 for all judgments or settlements for any health care provider. The fund is not responsible for paying punitive damages rendered in any judgment.
The provisions contained in this act are similar to ones contained in SB 706 (2004) and SB 257 (2003).