The California Department of Insurance has revealed that there has been a total savings of approximately $19 million on the medical malpractice insurance premiums of medical care providers such as doctors and dentists, as the result of the rate regulation authority approval in that state geared toward reducing unjustified premiums.
Equally, though, Consumer Watchdog Campaign has pointed out that the same protection for patients is being opposed by a doctors’ group. The Consumer Watchdog Campaign has been questioning the undisclosed links to the insurance industry of the leaders of the California Medical Association (CMA), the doctors’ trade association.
A proposal has been made for a ballot initiative for November, which would apply this same law to protect patients from paying unfair health insurance premiums, that is currently protecting medical professionals from having to pay malpractice premiums unfairly. However, the CMA has publicly declared its opposition to this ballot measure.
Carmen Balber, with the Consumer Watchdog Campaign, pointed out that medical providers in the state have now saved $19 million from what insurance companies had intended to unfairly charge them for malpractice insurance as a result of the rate regulation. She went on to ask “How can the doctors’ lobbyists oppose giving California patients the same protections against unfair health insurance rates?”
Through insurance reform law Proposition 103, the California insurance commissioner has the authority to approve, change, or deny rates for medical malpractice (and other forms of property and casualty coverage) which are deemed to be excessive or unfair. Consumer Watchdog Campaign has sponsored this ballot initiative, which would extend this same regulation to the health insurance coverage of over 5.3 million residents of the state.