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Some Georgia Malpractice Insurance Premiums Rise

Six of Georgia's medical malpractice insurers have increased their premiums since February 2005, when the state Legislature passed measures including a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damage awards in malpractice cases, according to an analysis conducted by the Associated Press, the AP/Macon Telegraph reports. Georgia's largest malpractice insurer, Atlanta-based MAG Mutual, froze its rates after the malpractice measures took effect and has promised state officials that it will cut premiums by 10% once a legal challenge reaches the state's Supreme Court and affirms the law. According to state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine (R), the six smaller insurers are raising their rates to "catch up" to the premiums being charged by MAG. Senate Pro Tempore Eric Johnson (R), who supported the measures, said, "Tort reform is working. I think the fact that the big one has frozen rates is a sign that it's working." However, Allie Wall, director of the consumer group Georgia Watch, said, "Our worst fears have come true." She added, "More than a year has gone by, yet Georgia doctors have not saved a penny on their insurance, as promised, and the insurance companies are still raking in record profits" (Bluestein, AP/Macon Telegraph, 6/16).

Reprinted with permission from http://www.kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.