On August 10, 2009, New York Governor David Patterson signed legislation continuing the freeze on medical malpractice rates. In addition to the premium rate freeze, the legislation also suspended an anticipated surcharge. The Legislature projected that without the freeze, medical malpractice rates would have increased by as much as 30% for some physicians.
While numerous politicians have lauded the freeze, Dr. Robert Menotti, president of the state’s largest medical malpractice insurer, Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Co. (MLMIC), was quoted as stating, “Our solvency is at risk.” Due to numerous rate freezes over the last decade, MLMIC has already seen its surplus drop from $1.5 billion to $275 million. Governor Patterson, however, believes that the freeze will allow the legislature time to create “comprehensive and meaningful medical malpractice reform.”