Medical Indemnity Insurance continues in perpetuity after Australian doctors retire from private practice, thanks to the government’s Run-off Cover Scheme (ROCs).
This means that retired doctors and those on maternity leave are covered for any claims arising from any act or omission that occurred at any stage of their career in private practice.
To qualify for cover, you must meet one of these requirements:
- Be aged 65 or older and retired from all paid private medical work;
- Be on maternity leave;
- Have left private practice due to permanent disability; or
- Have left Australia after working under visa subclasses 422 (medical practitioner) or 457 (business, long stay).
Additionally, your estate is covered if you die before or after retirement.
Here are 10 things to know about ROCS:
- Eligible doctors who have been in private practice and have held medical indemnity insurance with organisations such as Tego, Avant, MDA National, MIGA or MIPs are covered at no charge once they stop working or go on maternity leave;
- You should inform your indemnity insurer in good time if you are planning to retire or go on maternity leave;
- The cover is administered by your last medical indemnity insurer;
- The cover is funded through a yearly 5% levy, the ROCS support payment, which is applied to all medical indemnity premiums;
- The cover is effective as soon as you leave private practice for an eligible reason or go on maternity leave;
- You will become eligible after three years of not practising if, for any reason, you are not eligible for ROCS immediately after leaving the workforce;
- You may be able to buy three years of ROCS cover if you are not immediately eligible for the scheme, for example, if you retire before the age of 65;
- Work in the public sector is not covered under ROCS as this is covered by various state-managed insurance schemes;
- Should you return to private practice you will immediately cease to be covered and will require a new medical indemnity policy to be in place; and
- For your insurer to claim under the scheme, a statutory declaration signed by you (or the executors of your estate) is required along with the correct supporting documentation.