New Bill Makes Changes to Run-off Cover (ROC)n Scheme

ROCS is a Australian government scheme that provides eligible doctors with free of charge Medical Indemnity Insurance for their past private practice once they have ceased working. It is funded through a yearly 5% levy, the “ROCS support payment”, which is applied to all Medical Indemnity Premiums during a doctors practicing life. It is administered by the insurer that holds the doctors last Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy immediately prior to becoming eligible.

The way it was

Since 2002, under section 23 of the MI(PS&PS) Act, when a medical practitioner immediately became eligible for the ROCS and there was valid run off cover in place as a result of the requirement imposed on an insurer to make a compulsory statutory offer of run-off cover, no premium or other deliberation is payable for the medical indemnity cover.

Under the MI(PS&PS) Act and related Regulations, an insurer was required to offer run-off cover to a medical practitioner who retired at or before 65, on the same conditions and terms as their last cover (other than terms as to price). 

After three years of not engaging in private medical practice, the practitioner became eligible for ROCS and was no longer charged for run-off cover. 

In the interim three year period, insurers are charged a minimal amount for a medical practitioner’s run-off cover offered to those who permanently retire from private medical practice under the age of 65.

A new bill called the Medical and Midwife Indemnity Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 amended the:

  • Medical Indemnity Act 2002
  • Medical Indemnity (Prudential Supervision and Product Standards) Act 2003 (MI(PS&PS) Act)
  • Midwife Professional Indemnity (Commonwealth Contribution) Scheme Act 2010.

The changes in medical and midwife indemnity legislation amendment bill 2019

The Bill amends the ROCS eligibility requirements to provide that medical practitioners who have retired permanently from private medical practice (regardless of their age) are eligible for ROCS, without requiring them to wait 3 years.

The Bill ‘switches off’ the requirement that no premium or other consideration is payable for the medical indemnity cover when there is valid run off cover in place for a medical practitioner who permanently retires from private medical practice under the age of 65 for the remaining period of the cover only, that is, until that current insurance contract expires. 

Consequently, even if a medical practitioner’s insurance contract expires, an insurer will not be permitted to charge a premium for the run-off cover despite a medical practitioner retiring before the age of 65.

In addition, the Bill includes consequential changes to the Medical Indemnity Act 2002 which repeals the definition of, and references to, medical indemnity payment and refers to the one remaining medical indemnity payment being the ‘run-off cover support payment.’

Medical indemnity insurance quote

Tego ensures that eligible doctors under ROCS get medical indemnity cover that is comprehensive and based on their last cover.

For many years, Tego has provided health professionals in Australia medical indemnity insurance, doctors indemnity insurance, GP medical indemnity insurance, medical malpractice insurance, medical practice insurance, and more. Known as one of the leading Australian medical indemnity insurance providers, our experts provide 24/7 medico-legal advice and support to guide medical practitioners, from doctors to midwives. We provide superlative and time-tested support for all of their insurance needs.

If you need more information about the changes to the Run-off Cover (ROC) Scheme, please do not hesitate to contact us.

This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitutes legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information.

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