SB 1179 Modifies provisions relating to medical malpractice insurance
LR Number:4104S.01I Fiscal Note:4104-01
Committee:Small Business, Insurance & Industrial Relations
Last Action:02/09/04 - Second Read and Referred S Small Business, Insurance Journal page:S262
and Industrial Relations Committee
Effective Date:Contingent
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Current Bill Summary

SB 1179 - The act revises provisions relating to medical malpractice insurance.

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR HMO'S - The act provides that health services corporations, HMO's and health benefit plan entities cannot require, as a condition of participation in the network, that a physician maintain a medical malpractice insurance policy that is deemed excessive by the director of the department of insurance.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE RATES - Insurance companies are prohibited from increasing or modifying existing premiums or canceling policies until such time as new rate filings are approved by the Department of Insurance.

The act requires the director of the Department of Insurance to approve or disapprove rates for medical malpractice insurance. The act sets out factors for the Director to consider including the Missouri loss experience, rather than the loss experience in other states unless the failure to do so would jeopardize the insurer's financial stability. The Director must also ensure that the rates reflect the impact of any state and federal legislation regarding tort reform or medical malpractice insurance. The Director must approve or disapprove rate filings within 60 days unless additional time is needed based on applicant's failure to provide information. If the Director finds a rate to be excessive, the director may order a refund of the excessive portion of the rate to the policyholder.

NOTICE OF PREMIUM INCREASES - This act also prohibits insurers who issue medical malpractice policies from increasing premiums without providing 90 days written notice.

This act contains an emergency clause.

This act is similar to SB 727 (2004).