What is ROCS?
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
Who is eligible for Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy ROCS?
Immediate eligibility to ROCS is gained by a doctor (and their estate) if they leave private practice to retire from all paid private medical practice aged 65 or above;
- Due to a permanent disability or death;
- On maternity leave; and are doctor leaving the country after working under visa subclasses
- If doctors leave the workforce for any other reason they become eligible to ROCS after three years of non practice
- Run-off cover for these 3 years can be purchased should the doctor require it
How do eligible doctors apply?
Doctors are automatically covered by ROCS when one of the eligibility criteria is satisfied this is even where an insurer has not acknowledged that the doctor has become eligible.
Even with automatic cover it is an offence under Medical Indemnity legislation should the holding insurer not provide a doctor with a complying run-off/ROCS offer or acknowledgement within 28 days of the doctor notifying the insurer of ceasing practice. For an insurer to claim under the scheme a statutory declaration signed by the doctor (or their estate) is required along with the correct supporting documentation.
What does ROCS cover in your Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy in Australia?
The doctor’s last policy sets the basis for ROCS coverage. ROCS is provided on the same terms and conditions, and for the same range of incidents, as the last cover that the doctor had in place.
Any non-standard conditions that are in place on the last medical indemnity policy at the time of ROCS eligibility will carry over to ROCS (exclusions, excess, limitations etc.)
Should a doctor return to paid practice they will immediately cease to be covered and will require a new Medical Indemnity Insurance policy to be in place.
This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute 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.
Eric is the CEO of Tego, an insurance agency offering specialist indemnity insurance solutions for the healthcare and life sciences sectors. His qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in business and law, a master’s degree from UNSW in law and management and an MBA from the AGSM.