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Hospital-Employed PAs and Medical Malpractice Insurance


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Hi all. In my current position (my first job out of school - been there almost 3 years), my employer has stated I am covered by the hospital's malpractice policy, which has limits of 8M/24M. Admittedly, I had a very poor understanding of my insurance when I accepted the position. Over my time in this position, I became increasing curious of the details of the policy and after nearly 6 months of asking was supplied with only a letter stating I was covered by the policy and a form stating the above limits and that the policy is a claims-made policy. I am now in the process of transitioning to a new position at a new hospital, and will again be employed by the hospital and have been told I will be covered by the hospital's policy. Through my reading on the topic, it seems that I probably should have my own private policy (and should have for the past 3 years as well. This leads to several questions:

 

1. If you are a hospital-employed PA, how are you insured? Only hospital policy, or hospital policy + personal policy?

 

2. I am now leaving my first position and it seems to me that I am going to have to purchase tail insurance. Is this true? (I have already asked this question of my directors, and they are in the process of finding out) If so, how much can I expect to pay?

 

3. If you are hospital-employed and have a personal policy, do you pay for it or does your employer?

 

4. If you are hospital-employed, how much do you know about the hospital's insurance policy under which you are covered?

 

5. What is the best way to handle what looks to be a similar situation in my new position? Should I just purchase my own policy?

 

Thanks for any help you can offer. I am also interested in any other knowledge wiser and/or more experienced others can impart on this particular topic.

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Good questions. I left a job with a private employer not realizing, or ever having been informed, that they had changed the terms of the malpractice policy. Sure, I was covered, but I found out with the policy change that tail coverage was NOT available when I left. Of course, they failed to inform me of this change and I wrongly assumed that the policy had not changed during the ten years I was with the private employer. At my current job, no only is the malpractice covered, but tail coverage is paid for by the hospital should I decide to leave. Employee beware.

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Tail coverage was not available at any price. When I changed jobs six months ago, I did not have an option to purchase tail insurance. That was unacceptable; once again, I was not informed that this had changed when the employer changed his policy a couple of years ago. I was "covered" under his policy while working at his clinic. When I gave notice of my intent to leave, I contacted the insurance company to get a copy of the new policy to provide proof of "current insurance" to my future employer; it was at this time that I was told the policy did not allow tail coverage at all for me as a P.A.. When I initially took a job with the employer, ten years prior, there was an option for me to purchase tail coverage but the employer changed the policy and I was not made aware of the change. I would never knowingly go to work for (or stay at a job with) an employer where tail coverage was not an option. I thought it was pretty low that I was not made aware of the change. Shame on me for not checking the policy every year.

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