Medical malpractice insurers will not lose their antitrust exemption according a new version of the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act.

The bill seeks to “restore the application of the Federal antitrust laws to the business of health insurance to protect competition and consumers” by repealing exemptions insurers have enjoyed under the McCarran-Ferguson Act.

"The inclusion of medical malpractice insurance, a property/casualty product, was particularly inappropriate in that it did not relate directly to health insurance," Mike Becker, national director of federal affairs for the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) said in statement. "A reduction in medical malpractice insurance rates is best achieved through separate legislation addressing tort reform."

PIA National Executive VP & CEO Leonard Brevik added that the antitrust exemptions were necessary to enable smaller insurers to aggregate loss experiences in order to develop sound actuarial models and pricing strategies.

"There are almost 4,000 insurance companies in the United States," Brevik said. "Many are small and mid-size insurance companies that rely on jointly collected, pooled historical loss data to underwrite their policies. If this were no longer allowed, many of these companies could be forced out of business, with just a relative handful of companies remaining."

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