Retired Doctors Have Retroactive Medical Malpractice Insurance

Posted on Jul 13, 2008
Doctors who are retired but still enjoy working on and with patients can still be covered for medical malpractice.

Dr. Robert Duncan of Jacksonville, Fla. and other retired physicians wouldn’t be able to practice medicine without the legal protection available to them by their former malpractice insurance companies and the state of Florida.

Retired doctors retain some medical malpractice coverage to cover retroactive claims. However, that coverage becomes void if a physician practices again with compensation.

"I do it because practicing medicine is lots of fun," Dr. Duncan said.

"Tail coverage" is optional protection that allows a physician to report malpractice claims after a policy has ended for alleged injuries that occurred when the physician's policy was active, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal (JBJ).

Duncan worked 33 years as a plastic surgeon. Now he works with the indigent at The Sulzbacher Center and We Care Jacksonville Clinic. In addition, he teaches medical staffers.

"They watch us and we teach them as we go along," he said.

If not for Duncan and other physicians, indigent “patients” would get no care or visit emergency departments for treatment usually rendered at a doctor’s office, the JBJ reported.

In Florida in 2006, hospitals incurred $2.35 billion in debt from serving the indigent or those without health insurance, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

"We need more retired doctors to do this," Duncan said. "It makes me want to read more about medicine, and keep up with things."



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