Antitrust exemption keeps liability rates reasonable, actuaries say

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 1, 2010

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If enacted, federal health reform legislation proposing to strip medical liability insurers of their current antitrust exemptions could cause industry competition to dwindle and physicians' premiums to swell. That's according to a letter the American Academy of Actuaries sent to congressional leaders on Jan. 21 (link).

The trade association for insurance actuaries asked lawmakers to reject the provisions from a House-passed version of health system reform legislation for fear the restrictions would prevent liability insurers from sharing the information needed to price physician coverage appropriately. In the alternative, the academy requested a clear exception for such data-gathering and rate-setting activities, as allowed under current federal antitrust laws.

Because of the time it takes for medical liability claims to make their way through the courts, liability insurers must be able to rely on outside information to estimate their costs credibly and set reasonable rates, the letter states.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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