The Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) started the $100 million TMLT Trust Rewards Program on Jan. 1 to reward policyholders for their loyalty. TMLT will fund a Trust Rewards Account, based on earned premium, for each policyholder in the program, and the money will be available upon retirement or other qualifying events.
Physicians who become policyholders in 2012 and who sign up for the program will receive a bonus to be credited to their account. Participating physicians will receive quarterly statements documenting the growth of their account.
To participate in this program, eligible physician policyholders must sign up. Online enrollment is available on the TMLT website. Physicians interested in applying for TMLT coverage or who would like more information may call TMLT's sales department at (800) 580-8658.
TMLT also announced it has agreed to purchase Physicians Insurance Company (PIC), a Florida-based medical liability insurance company. In addition, TMLT agreed to purchase several related entities, including Managed Insurance Services (MIS), National Institute of Quality Assurance (NIQA), Insurance Software Design (ISD), and Insurance Innovations (Innovations). These affiliated companies own and/or control various insurance-related businesses and e-commerce platforms, including OnLine-PL and E-Professional Insurance.
TMLT says it expects to finalize the PIC acquisition early this year, pending approval from state insurance regulatory bodies. TMLT closed the purchase of the holding company, which owns MIS, NIQA, ISD, and Innovations, at the end of 2011.
"PIC has an entrepreneurial spirit and we will be proud to bring them into the TMLT family," said TMLT President and Chief Executive Officer Charles R. Ott Jr. "Our acquisition of PIC will diversify our product base, enable us to expand to new markets, and bring a more technology-based approach to the way we do business."
Medefense Coverage Enhanced
TMLT also said all policies covering individual physicians include Medefense Endorsement, which provides reimbursement for legal and tax audit expenses for disciplinary proceedings. The endorsement covers the following:
- A review action by the Texas Medical Board (TMB);
- A hospital action regarding clinical privileges;
- Actions by the Texas Department of State Health Services or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
- Noncompliance with Medicare/Medicaid regulations, to include the Recovery Audit Contractor Program;
- Proceedings alleging violations of EMTALA, HIPAA, or Stark laws; and
- Federal tax audits.
In 2011, the Medefense endorsement was enhanced to include coverage for payment of civil fines and penalties associated with disciplinary proceedings, TMLT said. Medefense limits were also increased up to $50,000 per insured event with an annual aggregate limit of $100,000 per policy period. Medefense benefits are subject to a $1,000 deductible, with a 10-percent coinsurance provision (the physician will pay 10 percent of the legal expenses after application of the deductible). The 10-percent coinsurance clause and the deductible will be waived if the physician selects an attorney from a panel provided by TMLT. The coverage for tax audits will be limited to a $5,000 maximum reimbursement.
TMLT said that to take advantage of Medefense coverage, policyholders should:
- Notify TMLT as soon as they receive the initial letter from TMB or other disciplinary authority. The policy says a policyholder has 60 days to report an event or letter to be reimbursed for covered expenses.
- Consider retaining an attorney to help draft a narrative and to respond to the disciplinary authority. Upon request, TMLT can provide policyholders with a list of attorneys who have experience handling disciplinary proceedings.
Action, Jan. 17, 2012