Legislation that would allow Ohio's insurance director to create a state-run medical malpractice insurer unanimously passed the state Senate on Wednesday.
H.B. 282 would authorize Insurance Director Ann Womer Benjamin to establish the Medical Liability Underwriting Association should the medical malpractice market worsen, Womer Benjamin said. The MLUA would write primary insurance coverage for doctors unable to find professional liability coverage.
The legislation also would allow the transfer of $12 million from a medical malpractice company that was created by the state in 1975 but is being terminated by law. That money could be used for funding the MLUA or for other medical malpractice-related initiatives, Womer Benjamin said.
The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Larry Flowers, passed Ohio's House in January. Womer Benjamin said she expects Gov. Bob Taft to sign the bill in March.
On Jan. 1, a previously approved private malpractice insurer, Columbus, Ohio-based OHA Insurance Solutions, began writing policies for physicians and hospitals.