The largest medical malpractice insurer in Illinois, ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co., Chicago, announced an average annual base rate increase of 35.2% for its 14,000 physician policy holders, effective in July. An obstetrician in Chicago, for example, will see a $37,000 premium increase to $140,000, while a neurosurgeon will pay $60,000 more, to $228,000, the company said. ISMIE imposed a moratorium on new business in January, but malpractice cases still grew 36% in the past nine months, the company said. The average malpractice claim payout climbed 59% over the past two years to $612,000, the company said. Meanwhile, the Illinois Hospital Association said hospitals' medical liability insurance costs had nearly doubled over the past two years, rising to an average of $2.8 million in 2003, from $1.5 million in 2001. -- by Mark Taylor
Ill. malpractice insurer to raise premiums 35%
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