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News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance
Commissioner Steven M. Goldman

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2006

For Further Information: Jaimee Gilmartin - (609) 292-5064

Applications Available to Assist Healthcare Professionals with Malpractice Insurance

TRENTON – The Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) is accepting applications for the Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Premium Assistance Fund, a program designed to help maintain accessibility to healthcare by providing partial medical malpractice insurance premium relief to physicians in high-risk specialties.

The program is part of the New Jersey Medical Care Access and Responsibility and Patients First Act, passed by the legislature in 2004 and implemented in 2005. A component of the legislation, the subsidy fund, aims to protect access to health care by offering physicians in high-risk specialties the opportunity to apply for assistance in paying malpractice insurance premiums.

“One of our top priorities is to provide New Jersey residents access to quality healthcare, but that becomes increasingly difficult with doctors abandoning high-demand specialties because of high malpractice insurance premiums,” said DOBI Commissioner Steven Goldman. “By providing premium relief to these specialists, we can keep the doors to their practices open – thus assuring New Jersey residents that they can find the doctors they need, when they need them.”

DOBI is now accepting applications from practitioners eligible for reimbursement from the fund. Specialties that qualify – determined in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services – are obstetrics/gynecology (except practices limited to gynecology only), neurosurgery, and diagnostic radiology (limited to radiologists who read mammograms).

The fund is made possible through an assessment on state licensed physicians, lawyers, employers subject to the state’s unemployment compensation law, and other medical professionals, with 65 percent of the fund dedicated to premium relief. The remainder is earmarked for hospital charity care, NJ FamilyCare, and student loan reimbursement for obstetricians and gynecologists committed to practicing in the state.

Qualified physicians in an eligible specialty who make timely application can expect payments by early fall. Individual payment amounts will depend on the number of applicants and the dollar amount collected through assessments.

Applicants can file online on DOBI’s Web site at www.state.nj.us/dobi/mmlipafa/index.htm. Applications must be filed no later than August 25.

Medical practitioners with questions can contact DOBI at (609) 292-3100.