Friday, July 08, 2005

Corrupt Insurance Companies

Seems that the problem is the insurers, not the trial lawyers.

KANSAS CITY STAR - Medical malpractice insurers in recent years have reaped a windfall in premiums that have far outstripped their claim payouts, a report issued by consumer groups said Thursday.

The report, written by former Missouri Insurance Commissioner Jay Angoff, contends that the amount of premiums collected by 15 major medical malpractice insurers has more than doubled over the past five years. At the same time, the report found that the companies' claim payouts have remained essentially flat [...]

The report said malpractice insurers as a group raised their net premiums between 2000 and 2004 by 120.2 percent, to about $4.2 billion, even though their net claim payments rose by only 5.7 percent, to about $1.4 billion.

As a result, the amount of claim payments made as a percentage of premiums dropped from 69.9 percent in 2000 to 33.6 percent in 2004.

Those premium increases are then passed on to health care recipients, further fueling skyrocking health care costs.

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