Pay as You Go Insurance for Healthcare Professionals

July 25, 2019 •

From nurses to doctors to dentists, healthcare professionals are tasked with the wellbeing of every patient in their care. However, as a health care provider, working in healthcare does not come without its risks, risks that can result in injury, ill health, or even death. Medical negligence is one of the leading causes of death in the country, and it can happen at any point in the process, including diagnosis, treatment, and counseling after treatment. This results in hundreds of thousands of medical malpractice lawsuits filed every year.

Malpractice lawsuits can result in financial troubles and even a loss of your medical license. Thankfully you can protect yourself by purchasing medical liability insurance. While health insurance coverage and malpractice policies come in many different forms, you may want to consider pay as you go insurance. Learn more about pay as you go liability insurance coverage below.


What is Medical Malpractice Insurance for Healthcare Professionals?

Medical malpractice insurance coverage is designed to protect physicians, doctors, and other licensed medical professionals from liability associated with potentially wrongful practices that may result in harm to a patient, including personal injury, property damage, and mental anguish. Most of the money in a malpractice insurance policy goes toward expenses related to defense and investigating claims. This includes:

  • Attorney fees
  • Costs for arbitration and settlement
  • Payment for medical damages
  • Any punitive costs or judgment awarded


Types of Medical Malpractice Insurance

The two main types of medical malpractice insurance are known as occurrence and claims-made. Claims-made policies only provide protection if the insurance coverage policy is in effect before the retroactive dates and when the claim is made. While this may not be a problem for some, medical malpractice claims may come a considerable amount of time after the initial incident occurred. As a health care provider, you want to make sure you are covered if any incidents arise.

Some claims-made policies in a health plan are covered with tail coverage, which extends your coverage for a set amount of years past the end of the policy. If tail coverage is not offered, you can usually purchase it. The cost can vary, but you can expect to pay a one-time assessment fee up to two times the typical annual premium.

That might seem pricey, but having that extra coverage is essential for certain situations, particularly for those going through a transition of some kind. This includes moving to a new position, switching insurance coverage carriers, or retiring. Tail coverage ensures that you do not have any gaps in coverage, allowing for smooth transitions at all times. Your previous employer may pay for your tail coverage, or your new employer may cover the charges as a part of your benefits.

By comparison, an occurrence policy is a health plan that provides coverage as long as the policy is in effect when the incident occurred, even if the actual claim is made after the incident. This makes things much easier for you as it does not require you to pay for tail coverage. However, occurrence malpractice coverage policies are not often offered by employers and are generally much more expensive than claims-made policies.


What is Pay as You Go Insurance?

While occurrence and claims-made policies are effective, they are both long-term policies that are rigid and may not work for everyone, especially contract workers, like traveling nurses. That is where pay as you go insurance comes into play.

With pay as you go health insurance policies, also known as per diem coverage, you can get medical liability insurance on a per contract or per day basis. That means only paying for medical malpractice insurance when you are on the job, meaning you would only pay for several days instead of a full year.

To add further flexibility, pay as you go health insurance policies usually allow you to only pay for the services that you think you will need. For example, you can specifically pay for license protection benefits while foregoing other coverage that may not even apply to your position.

A pay as you go policy can help you save money, time, and headaches without sacrificing the legal and financial protections that you need.