The cost of medical malpractice insurance has been dropping for about a decade

June 20, 2016

For decades there have been myths about Medical Malpractice and who is to blame for the high cost of health care. You’ve often heard that one reason health care costs are skyrocketing in this country is because doctors pay too much for medical malpractice insurance premiums. The public’s been told that their medical bills are huge because doctors have to give a substantial portion of their income to an insurance company to purchase insurance coverage due to the filing of frivolous law suits.

Yet, malpractice-insurance premiums and liability awards account for less than 2 percent of overall health-care spending, according to a 2004 study by the Congressional Budget Office. Believe it or not, the cost of medical malpractice insurance has been dropping, nationally, for about a decade. In 2003 there were nearly 17,000 paid medical malpractice claims in the U.S. totaling nearly $4.5 billion. By 2011, the number of paid claims had dropped below 10,000 and the total amount paid was less than $3.2 billion. That’s a 40 percent drop in the number of paid claims and a 29 percent drop in the total amount paid.  As a result, medical malpractice insurance premiums are lower today than 10 years ago.