News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance
Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan

For Immediate Release: June 29, 2005

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

Applications for Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Subsidy Now Available

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan today signed the order that in part implements the New Jersey Medical Care Access and Responsibility and Patients First Act of 2004. The Act seeks to protect medical access for New Jersey residents in part by offering assistance in the payment of medical malpractice insurance premiums for physicians in high-risk specialties.

The Department of Banking and Insurance is now accepting applications from practitioners who are eligible for the Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Premium Assistance Fund (MMLIPA) subsidy. The Department worked in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services in determining which medical specialties and subspecialties are eligible for assistance this year.

“We still have work to do in making sure that access to medical care is available to every New Jerseyan,” said Acting Commissioner Bryan. “Providing premium relief to the medical practitioners who need it most is a step toward making that happen.”

The legislation required assessments to be collected from state-licensed physicians and podiatrists, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, lawyers and all employers subject to the New Jersey unemployment compensation law. The Act further required the Department of Banking and Insurance to administer the Fund, but referred the collection of the assessments to the Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury and the Division of Consumer Affairs within the Department of Law and Public Safety. The Fund is expected to extend for three years.

Beginning today, a printable version of the application will be available on the Department's web site at Applications shall be filed no later than August 5, 2005 . Practitioners and healthcare providers in the following medical specialties and subspecialties are eligible to apply for a subsidy from the Fund to be distributed later this year:

Premium subsidy payments to eligible practitioners are expected by the end of the summer. The payment amounts depend on the number of eligible applicants who apply for the premium subsidy and the total dollar amount collected from the assessments.

While 65 percent of the Fund is dedicated to premium relief, the remainder will benefit hospital charity care, NJ FamilyCare and student loan reimbursement for obstetricians and gynecologists who are committed to practicing in the state.

Applicants can file by mail at the following address:

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance
PO Box 325
Trenton , New Jersey 08625 -325

By fax: 609-777-0508;

Or in person at the Department's offices at 20 W. State St., Trenton , or its Consumer Centers in Camden (101 Haddon Ave.) and Newark (153 Halsey St .) .

Medical practitioners requiring more information or with questions about their applications may call: 609-292-3100.