Rate filings questioned

Edwardsville Intelligencer
Saturday, October 16, 2004

A Madison County urologist has teamed up with the Center for Justice and Democracy, a consumer rights organization, to demand that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation release all medical malpractice rate filings dating back to 1994, so that independent examiners can see if insurers have imposed unwarranted and excessive rate hikes on doctors in the state. 

The physician recently closed his private office after he was notified by ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company that his malpractice insurance premium was going to rise to $105,000 per year from the previous $28,000 rate he had been paying.

The physician, known only as John Doe, still practices at an area hospital and wishes to remain anonymous. According to the Center for Justice and Democracy (CJD), the suspicion is that many doctors in Illinois have been intimidated from coming forward to question the role of the insurance industry in creating the malpractice insurance crisis.
The CJD and John Doe are using the Illinois Freedom of Information Act to ask for medical rate filings that each of the five insurers or any of their affiliates submitted to the IDFPR since Jan. 1, 1994. 

"The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has kept confidential the most basic information about insurer payouts, losses, income and reserves, and the connection between these factors and the outrageous rates being charged Illinois physicians," Joanne Doroshow said. "We are asking for the first time that the insurance division disclose meaningful information to the public about the financial health of medical malpractice insurers and why they are price-gouging doctors."
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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