Maryland physicians may get subsidy if liability rates hold steady
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 10, 2005
In a letter to the Maryland Insurance Administration, the state's attorney general said a law granting subsidies to physicians to help them pay liability insurance bills should still apply even if insurers do not increase their rates for next year.
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. acknowledged the law literally reads that the state should not subsidize liability costs if rates do not increase. But "this appears to be attributable to an oversight in the drafting of the statute," he wrote.
"The statute as a whole demonstrates a legislative intent to subsidize physician malpractice premiums for a limited period at a gradually declining rate," Curran said in the letter. "The legislative history confirms that intent."
Curran's opinion became necessary after a company announced it would not raise premiums for next year, prompting the insurance administration to question whether the subsidy program for physicians should continue.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/10/10/prbf1010.htm.