Regulators Take Steps to Liquidate Company Serving Ala. Hospitals

May 7, 2003

Virginia insurance regulators informed Alabama Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell recently that they are taking steps to liquidate a company that provides liability coverage to 46 Alabama hospitals.

The Virginia insurance commissioner suspended all hospital liability insurance claims and filed a petition with that state’s corporation commission to have the company liquidated.

Some hospitals’ physician and provider employees are also affected by the insolvency because their coverage was tied to their employers.

“We are working expeditiously with interested parties to help fill the gap caused by ROA’s insolvency,” Bell said. “This is yet another difficult situation for the medical community in our state, but we are committed to helping our hospitals find coverage so that they can continue to provide the level of care accustomed by the citizens of this state.”

Because of the suspension of claims payments, the Alabama’s Property and Casualty Guaranty Fund will take effect. Claims payments from the guaranty fund, however, are limited by law to $150,000 per claim.

The guaranty fund, which is subsidized by the state General Fund, is set up to pay claims in case of insolvencies. “The guaranty fund is strictly a short-term, stop-gap measure,” Bell said. “It is our top priority to find long-term, secure solutions for this crisis.”

More than 800 doctors lost access to claims payments in February when Doctors Insurance Reciprocal was declared insolvent.

The ROA petition is unrelated to the Doctors Insurance Reciprocal insolvency. Bell worked with other companies to provide stop-gap coverage to Alabama physicians to work through that crisis.

“We will be working with companies in the same fashion as we did in February for physicians to provide the necessary coverage for hospitals,” Bell added.

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