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Pa. providers not required to boost med mal limits


HARRISBURG, Pa.--Because of inadequate commercial insurance capacity, Pennsylvania health care providers will not have to boost their commercial medical malpractice insurance limits and reduce their dependence on a state fund for coverage, the state's insurance department has announced.

Providers in the state currently are required to maintain $1 million of coverage, with the first $500,000 of limits purchased from a commercial insurer and an excess layer of $500,000 obtained from the state's Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund.

Under state law, as commercial market capacity increases, providers would have to purchase $750,000 of commercial limits and $250,000 of state fund limits. Eventually, the state anticipates requiring providers to purchase all of their limits in the commercial market.

An actuarial study by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. shows that the state's medical malpractice insurance market has improved since the enactment of various reforms in recent years, noted Deputy Insurance Commissioner Randy Rohrbaugh in a statement. But, based on the study, commercial market capacity has not increased sufficiently to require providers to purchase additional commercial limits, Mr. Rohrbaugh said he has determined.