MD malpractice insurer returns $84 million to state

Maryland's largest malpractice insurer is returning $84 million to the state, refunding a subsidy which helped pay malpractice premiums. The payback reflects a slowing in malpractice costs in the state, which had previously reached what then governor Robert Ehrlich (R) termed a "crisis."

In the past, premium increases were brisk from year to year. The insurer, Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland, had raised rates an average 28 percent in 2004, then topped it with an average 33 percent hike in 2005. To help doctors pay their premiums, Ehrlich had helped push through a 2 percent surcharge on HMO premiums.

Last year, however, the program gave back $68.6 million in rebates to policyholders due to lower malpractice payouts.  Because malpractice costs no longer seem to be on the rise, current governor Martin O'Malley (D) is against continuing the subsidy program.

To find out more the subsidy:
- read this piece from The Washington Post

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