On January 1, 1990, the Medical Inter-Insurance Exchange of New Jersey decreased malpractice insurance premiums for anesthesiologists by 14%. Them was a lesser across-the-board decrease in premiums for all physicians insured by M.I.I.E. of 5%.
The premium for anesthesiologists for a one million-three million occurrence policy is $16,300 and $18,870 for a two million-four million policy. In addition, a dividend check for $1,286 was sent to anesthesiologists insured by M.I.I.E. during the year 1978. This dividend was issued because of favorable claim experience on the professional liability policies that were written for policy year 1978. A total dividend of $3,115,233 was distributed.
The other major insurer of anesthesiologists in New Jersey Princeton Insurance Company reduced its premiums effective February 1. An 18% reduction was seen for the basic one million-three million policy with a 30% reduction in premium for greater amounts of coverage.
A fee (“loan certificate”‘) of $ 12,500 is required to obtain new insurance from M.I.I.E This certificate is fully refundable at the time of retirement, death, or upon leaving New Jersey. Also, those who initially invested $7,500 in 1977 are scheduled for return of their $7,500 investment upon approval of the State Insurance Commissioner. The M.I.I.E., incidentally, is represented on the Board of Directors of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation by Mr. Peter Sweetland, President. The extra 9% decrease in M. I.I. E. premiums for anesthesiologists is attributed to decreased claims and the efforts of the New Jersey State Society of anesthesiologists in risk management.
Because the New Jersey standards have been officially in place since August 21, 1989 the M.I.I.E., as in Massachusetts, has already recognized and is anticipating a further decrease in anesthesia malpractice claims because of adherence to the all encompassing New Jersey standards of practice. A representative of the Princeton Insurance Co. stated, “Without a doubt, superior claim experience has caused this huge reduction in cost.”
It is hoped that next year, with further favorable experience, anesthesiologists in New Jersey will see an additional decrease in malpractice insurance premiums.
Dr. Moss of Verona, NJ is an APSF Director and has been a driving force in anesthesia practice reform in New Jersey.