Medical malpractice premiums are flat, and even falling in some cases, even as healthcare costs rise, particularly for Americans purchasing individual policies on exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.
Medical malpractice premiums remain flat as they have for years now, with rates “experiencing only a very slight (0.1%) cumulative decrease from last year across the industry,” according to the 2016 Medical Liability Monitor Annual Rate Survey.
“The stability of medical malpractice premium rates is a stark contrast to the tumult occurring in other segments of the U.S. healthcare delivery system as a result of the reforms spurred by the Affordable Care Act,” Michael Matray, editor of Medical Liability Monitor, said in a statement accompanying the survey. “A full three-quarters of the respondents to our survey reported no rate changes in the last year, and just under 80% of respondents said they believe the market is neither hardening nor softening.”
Still, it’s not cheap to insure a doctor against malpractice claims. For example, an obstetrician/gynecologist in Chicago paid a malpractice premium of $127,000 in 2016, which was the same as 2015 , according to rates the Doctors Company submitted to Medical Liability Monitor. Medical malpractice premiums for obstetricians aren’t as high in other parts of the country and can be as low as $30,000 to $60,000 but aren’t rising much, if at all. Elsewhere, internists in Georgia paid $10,000 to $14,000, and those rates were also largely flat from last year to this year.