Fisher Approves Rate Hike for Med-Mal Insurer

April 22, 2004

Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher recently announced that a request for a rate hike by Oklahoma’s third largest writer of medical malpractice insurance has been approved.

The Oklahoma Insurance Department reported that following months of study by department officials and an independent actuary, Fisher granted a 105 percent increase to the Ft. Wayne, Ind.-based Medical Protective Insurance Co. The increase slightly more than doubles the rates the company is allowed to charge.

Even with the increase, a family physician practicing in Oklahoma can expect to pay the third lowest rates in the seven-state region with two states having pending increases, based on information provided by the company during a March 26 hearing Fisher conducted on the matter.

During the hearing, Fisher told company officials he was concerned that doctors face a lack of choices when purchasing coverage.

“Obviously, it was difficult to make a decision to increase the rates so much,” Fisher said. “I have a responsibility to make sure the company is able to pay at the time of claim and that doctors have coverage available. “The overall medical malpractice insurance market is critical,” Fisher said. “We must make tough choices today in order to return stability to the market.”

The new rates are set to take effect June 1.

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