Texas insurance officials recently took action to alleviate widespread concern about skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance rates and the shrinking number of private insurers.The Texas Department of Insurance released new policy guidelines for the Joint Underwriting Association-the state's insurer of last resort-as physicians in that state brace for a wave of renewal notices. The changes expand the types of policies offered and reduce some policy prices.

"The JUA is now a more realistic option for doctors struggling to find viable coverage in today's difficult medical malpractice insurance market," said Commissioner Jose Montemayor.

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