SB 939 Modifies laws relating to medical malpractice insurance and establishes the "Health Care Stabilization Fund Feasibility Board"
Sponsor: Stouffer
LR Number: 3859S.02I Fiscal Note: 3859-02
Committee: Aging, Families, Mental & Public Health
Last Action: 3/1/2006 - Hearing Conducted S Aging, Families, Mental & Public Health Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2006

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Current Bill Summary


SB 939 - This act modifies various provisions of law pertaining to medical malpractice insurance.

FILING OF INFORMATION BY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE COMPANIES - This act modifies the definition of "insurer" to include 383 medical malpractice associations and self-insured health care providers for the purposes of filing medical malpractice claim reports (Section 383.105). The act requires the director of the Department of Insurance to establish by rule reporting standards in which insurers shall report annually insurance premiums, losses, exposure, and other information the director may require. This data will assist the department to monitor marketplace rates, financial solvency, affordability and the availability of medical malpractice insurance. The data collected shall be compiled in such a manner to assist medical malpractice insurers in developing future base rates, schedule rating or individual rating factors. The act requires the director to establish risk-reporting categories for medical malpractice insurance and establish regulations for the reporting of all base rates and premiums charged by such categories. These risk-reporting categories shall be established prior to May 30, 2007. Beginning June 1, 2008, medical malpractice insurers and self-insured health care providers must provide an annual report describing the actual rates or assessments charged for insurance for each of the risk-reporting categories (Section 383.106).

PUBLISHING OF MARKET RATES - The act requires the director to establish and publish market rates using the data collected under the act. The market rate shall reflect the median of the actual rates charged by insurers (those who have at least a 3% market share) for the various risk-reporting categories for the preceding year (Section 383.107).

The act requires the director to establish reporting standards for insurers to report their base rates for the various risk-reporting categories. The director shall create a public database that compares the base rates charged by each insurer (Section 383.108).

PENALTIES FOR NOT FILING OR REPORTING INFORMATION - If an insurer violates any of the provisions relating to reporting medical malpractice information, the director may issue cease and desist orders and seek other remedies outlined in the act to assure compliance (Section 383.124).

NOTICE OF NONRENEWAL OR CANCELLATION - This act prohibits insurance companies and other entities providing medical malpractice insurance from: (1) increasing premiums and other surcharges more than 25% without providing 90 days' prior notice to the insured; (2) refusing to renew policies without 90 days' prior notice, unless the refusal to renew is based upon nonpayment of insurance premiums or license termination or suspension or a material change in the insured's health care practice; and (3) ceasing to issue insurance policies without 180 days' prior notice to the Department. Any insurer that fails to provide the required notice, at the option of the insured, shall be required to continue the coverage. This section is similar to the one contained in HB 394 (2005)(Section 383.400).

HEALTH CARE STABILIZATION FUND FEASIBILITY BOARD - This act creates the Health Care Stabilization Fund Feasibility Board within the Department of Insurance to analyze medical malpractice data to determine whether a health care stabilization fund should be established in Missouri. As part of its duties, the board shall develop a comprehensive study detailing whether a health care stabilization fund is feasible within Missouri, or specified geographic regions thereof, or whether a health care stabilization fund would be feasible for specific medical specialties. If a health care stabilization fund is feasible within Missouri, the report shall also recommend to the General Assembly how the fund should be structured, designed, and funded.

The board shall consist of ten members. Other than the director, the house members and the senate members, the remainder of the board's members shall be appointed by the director of the department of insurance. The board shall be composed of:

(1) The director of the Department of Insurance, or his or her designee;

(2) Two members of the Missouri Senate appointed by the president pro tem of the senate with no more than one from any political party;

(3) Two members of the Missouri House of Representatives appointed by the speaker of the house with no more than one member from any political party;

(4) One member who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery in Missouri who is on a list of nominees submitted to the director by an organization representing Missouri's medical society;

(5) One member who is a doctor of osteopathy and who is on a list of nominees submitted to the director by an organization representing Missouri doctors of osteopathy;

(6) One member who is a licensed nurse in Missouri and who is on a list submitted to the director by an organization representing Missouri nurses;

(7) One member who is a representative of Missouri hospitals and who is on a list of nominees submitted to the director by an organization representing Missouri hospitals; and

(8) One member who is a physician and who is on a list submitted to the director by an organization representing family physicians in the state of Missouri.

The director shall appoint the members of the board, other than the General Assembly members, no later than January 1, 2007. Once appointed, the board shall meet at least quarterly, and shall submit its final report and recommendations regarding the feasibility of a health care stabilization fund to the governor and the general assembly no later than December 31, 2010. The act also requires the board to submit annual reports on the board’s progress. This portion of the act will expire December 31, 2010. A similar provision is contained in the truly agreed to and finally passed version of SS/SCS/HCS/HB 1837 (2006).

STEPHEN WITTE