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September 27, 2005

Actuaries Find that Medical Malpractice Report Misled the Public

medmal.pngIndependent actuaries with the firm Towers Perrin find that a July 2005 report released by the Center for Justice and Democracy and five other "consumer groups" is incomplete and unsound. Jay Angoff, an attorney employed by a personal injury law firm, performed the analysis for the six "consumer groups" and claimed that medical liability insurers have overcharged doctors and hospitals and accumulated record amounts of surplus over the last three years. However, an analysis of Angoff's report by actuaries James Hurley and Gail Tverberg finds that those claims are not supported by the data, nor do they pass a common sense test.

Towers Perrin's comments released today find Angoff's "analysis is incomplete and unsound" and his statistics "are:

1) meaningless and unsound in the case of paid loss to written premium
2) materially incomplete, in the case of incurred loss to earned premium
comparisons; or
3) incomplete and taken out of context, in the case of the change in

The Towers Perrin analysis documents that malpractice insurers have lost money in each of the years 1999 through 2003 even after considering investment income from their bond portfolios. In 2001, financial results were the worst in approximately 30 years. Hurley and Tverberg, through a succinct and thorough review, demonstrate that Angoff's conclusions cannot be supported by the facts.

Furthermore, Hurley and Tverberg find that Angoff's analysis fails the common sense test in that insurance regulators and analysts do not look at the statistics that Angoff derives because they are "meaningless, incomplete and inappropriate to form the conclusions made in the [Angoff] Report. If medical malpractice is as profitable as implied by the report, more companies would be competing to write the coverage."

PIAA President Larry Smarr applauded the actuaries' comments. "The Angoff report is a hoax and inappropriately twists numbers to claim that medical malpractice insurers have increased premiums at a rate more than 20 times the increase in claims payments. Towers Perrin has taken a critical step toward setting the record straight and stopping Angoff and these groups from further misleading the public."

Mr. Angoff's report is entitled, "Falling Claims and Rising Premiums in the Medical Malpractice Industry."

The PIAA is an association of doctor/provider owned and/or operated medical liability insurance companies which insure over 60 percent of America's private practicing physicians as well as dentists, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click
appropriate link.
Lawrence E. Smarr

Source: Physician Insurers Association of America

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:59 PM

September 15, 2005

Actuaries Study Medical Reinsurance; Backgrounder Discusses Design Options, Other Considerations

doctor.gifIn an effort to help combat the high cost of health insurance and address major issues within America's health care system, policymakers are considering offering a government-sponsored medical reinsurance program. To help them understand their choices in developing such a program, the American Academy of Actuaries has written a policy backgrounder - Medical Reinsurance: Considerations and Design Options for a Government- Sponsored Reinsurance Program. The backgrounder, which is a follow-up to a January 2005 Academy issue brief, discusses various considerations and design options that Congress should address when developing a government-sponsored reinsurance program.

"Designing a reinsurance program that attempts to reduce health care premiums, decrease the number of uninsured, and promote premium stability is a worthwhile goal," said Cori Uccello, the Academy's senior health fellow. "However, while a well-designed reinsurance program may help meet these goals, it still may not reduce health costs or the growth in health costs unless measures are taken to encourage plans to further manage costs."

The major issues for consideration are:

Would participation be voluntary or mandatory?
Would the reinsurance program be on a state or a federal level, or a
combination of both?
Will the attachment point be increased in time, and if so, how?
How would moral hazard be minimized?
How will it address geographic cost factors?
How should the accumulation period be defined?
What types of services are eligible for reimbursement?

To view the backgrounder, go to http://www.actuary.org/pdf/health/reinsure_sept05.pdf. To view the issue brief go to http://www.actuary.org/pdf/health/reinsurance_jan05.pdf. To interview Cori Uccello, the Academy's senior health fellow, please contact Tracey Young, media relations manager by phone at 202-785-7872, or by e-mail at young@actuary.org.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:52 PM

Fewer American Employees Have Health Insurance Cover

As corporate health insurance premiums rise in the USA, fewer companies are offering health benefits to employees. In 2000 69% of companies offered health insurance to their staff, now the figure stands at just 60%.

Just in 2005, premiums went up 9.2% (employment based health insurance). With the US inflation rate at around 3% this is quite a net increase. Some may take solace from the fact that this is the first non-double digit increase since the beginning of this century.

This is according to a report published by Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust. The report concluded that health care is fast becoming unaffordable for many companies and workers throughout the USA - something virtually unheard of in the rest of the developed world. In many developed countries, every citizen has universal health care coverage. In the UK nobody pays for health care - even prescriptions are limited to $10 per prescription (the government pays the rest).

For small and new companies, the rising costs are becoming so burdensome that many are just not opting in (offering company based health care to their employees). Many that continue to offer it are asking their staff to contribute. Employees now contribute to about 25% of their premium - paying in $1,094 more per year than they were five years ago.

Written by Christian Nordqvist
Editor - Medical News Today

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:51 PM

September 08, 2005

Results of 2005 CAS Election Are In

cas.gifBalloting for the 2005 CAS election closed on September 1, 2005 and the CAS Tellers have now verified the election results.

Thomas G. Myers has been elected President-Elect.

Irene K. Bass, Glenn Meyers, Donald F. Mango and Roosevelt C. Mosley, Jr. have been elected to the Board of Directors.

The following members were elected or re-elected by the Board to serve as Vice Presidents:

* Deborah M. Rosenberg, Vice President-Administration
* James K. Christie, Vice President-Admissions
* Amy S. Bouska, Vice President-International
* Joanne Spalla, Vice President-Marketing and Communications
* Beth E. Fitzgerald, Vice President-Professional Education
* Roger M. Hayne, Vice President-Research & Development
* John J. Kollar, Vice President-Risk Integration

These Fellows will assume their positions at the close of the 2005 Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

A total of 1,116 Fellows voted in this year's election, or 40% of the Fellows. This compares to 44% of the Fellows voting in the 2004 election, and 51% of the Fellows voting in the 2003 election.

According to the election procedures approved by the Board, all vote counts are released to the membership. These follow:


Thomas G. Myers - 959

Irene K. Bass - 694
Glenn Meyers - 654
Donald F. Mango - 618
Roosevelt C. Mosley, Jr. - 467
Brian Z. Brown - 461
Arlie J. Proctor - 336
Kenneth Quintilian - 330
Clive L. Keatinge - 296

Congratulations to the new President-Elect and Board members, and to our new and continuing Vice Presidents! On behalf of the CAS, I want to thank all the candidates in the 2005 election for their willingness to run and, if elected, to serve.

Stephen P. D'Arcy
President, Casualty Actuarial Society

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:01 PM

Accreditation Implementation Task Force Draft Report

SOA Accreditation of Academic Actuarial Science Programs:
A Draft for Your Review and Comment

At its October 2004 meeting, the SOA Board of Governors passed the following motion:

“The Board of Governors accepts and approves the Report of the Task Force on Academic Infrastructure. The Board approves, in principle, the undertaking of a process of accreditation for academic actuarial science programs, consistent with the recommendations contained in the Report, and appoints an Implementation Task Force to establish the rules and procedures of such accreditation process. The Implementation Working Group is to report its completed task to the Board at its June 2005, meeting.”

The Board has agreed to defer the report’s due date in order to allow for the opportunity to obtain feedback from a broad range of potentially interested constituencies through this posting.

The Accreditation Implementation Task Force (AITF) has posted an excerpt of its draft report. The excerpt includes the proposed criteria and structure for an accreditation system, as well as a draft application form. (For convenience, you may use the table of contents to navigate through the excerpt.)

We ask that you provide your feedback through the online survey, which can be accessed at http://www.surveyz.com/TakeSurvey?id=24556 . For other than college or university employees, we estimate the survey may take 20 minutes to complete after the draft report has been reviewed. We anticipate college or university employees will need 5-10 more minutes to complete their additional questions.

In order for the AITF to carefully consider the feedback received before presenting its recommendation to the SOA Board, the AITF has set a deadline of September 23rd for feedback. Thus, this survey will no longer be available after 5:00 p.m. on September 23rd.

Thank you! We very much appreciate you taking the time to review the draft and provide feedback.

The Accreditation Implementation Task Force

Douglas Borton, Jim Daniel, Victor de la Peña, Mary Rosalyn Hardy, Bryan Hearsey, Curtis Huntington, Michel Jacques, Stuart Klugman, Warren Luckner, Cynthia Miller, Wolfe Snow, Jeyaraj Vadiveloo, Catherine Wallach

Source: SOA.org

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:56 PM