FAQs

Categories

  1. Doctors
  2. Midwives
  3. Risk Management
  4. Medical Students
  5. Medico Legal
  1. Doctors

    1. How do I insure with MIGA?

      Insuring with MIGA is easy.

      Simply call MIGA on 1800 777 156 to discuss your insurance needs and we will provide you with a quote over the telephone.

      Alternatively download the following:

       

    2. What is retroactive cover and why do I need it?

      Retroactive cover provides you with insurance for claims that are first made against you and notified to us in writing during the Policy Period and which arise from circumstances that occurred before the Policy Period commenced. The Retroactive Date represents the earliest date on which a circumstance giving rise to a covered claim could have occured.

      If you are moving from another insurer, where you were covered on a claims made basis, MIGA can provide you with retroactive cover for your prior practice. This means you will be covered for what is often referred to as your "tail".

      It is extremely important to consider whether you require retroactive cover or whether there are any gaps in your existing retroactive cover as you may be personally liable for any claim if an incident occurred during a period for which you were not adequately covered.

      As a guide, you may require retroactive cover if any of the following circumstances apply:

      • Your claims incurred membership with an MDO was not continuous (ie you had gaps in your membership)
      • You had claims incurred membership with an MDO but you were not a financial member of the MDO at the time you resigned or left
      • You had claims made membership with your prior MDO and did not purchase run-off cover at the time you resigned or left
      • You purchased run-off cover at the time you resigned or left your prior MDO on an annually renewable basis, which you have not maintained
      • You had a prior period of claims made insurance with an insurer for which you did not effect and maintain run-off cover
      • You practised without membership of an MDO and/or without insurance (ie you were self insured)

      MIGA may be able to provide you with cover in the above circumstances. Simply contact our office on 1800 777 156 to discuss your situation and we will review your retroactive cover requirements.

      For more details please refer to Section 3 of the Combined Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement.

    3. What is claims made insurance?

      The Policy offered by Medical Insurance Australia is on a claims made basis. This means the Policy will respond to claims first made against you and notified to us in writing during the Policy Period so long as the incident or circumstances giving rise to the claim occured after your Retroactive Date, and subject to the full Policy terms and conditions.

      For more details please refer to Section 3 of the Combined Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement

    4. Am I covered for practice overseas?

      Cover is automatically provided by Medical Insurance Australia for practise outside the Commonwealth of Australia, provided the period of overseas practise does not exceed 120 days in the policy period.

      Please note however, no cover is provided in relation to incidents which occur in USA and a jurisdiction in which the laws of the USA apply.

      We can consider providing cover for practise overseas that exceeds the time limit in the automatic extension.

      It is important that you indicate on your Application or Change of Details Form if this is required, or contact our Client Services Department on 1800 777 156 to discuss your insurance requirements.

    5. What do I need to declare as Gross Income?

      Gross Income means:

      The total of all billings generated by you from all areas of your practice for which you require medical indemnity cover for the Policy Period (in your name or for which you are personally liable) including without limitation:

      • Medicare benefits; and
      • Payments by individuals, the Commonwealth Department of Veterans' Affairs, workers compensation schemes and third party and/or vehicle insurers; and
      • Income earned for medical practice overseas that is covered by the Policy

      whether retained by you or otherwise and before any apportionment of any expenses and/or tax.

      If as part of practice, you derive income from any other sources (such as professional fees, incentive payments, etc) this income must be included in the declaration of Gross Income.

      Please note the following:

      • The Gross Income you must declare is the total of the amounts set out above.  It is not sufficient to declare only your gross taxable income or net after tax income
      • If you are an employee and you are not indemnified by your employer for your work and are paid a salary and/or a percentage of your income, you are still required to determine your Gross Income as per the above definition
      • In relation to Medicare billable procedures, you need to include the amount that you have billed the patient for the procedure not just the Medicare rebate amount.

      If your actual Gross Income exceeds your estimated Gross Income you must notify us immediately.

    6. What is Extended Reporting Benefits or Run-off cover?

      The Policy offered by Medical Insurance Australia is on a claims made basis. If at any time you no longer require ongoing medical indemnity insurance or you move to a lower risk Category, you may require Run-off cover.

      Run-off cover insures you for claims made in the future which relate to practice in which you no longer engage.

      MIGA can provide you with Run-off cover to suit your individual circumstances, simply contact our office on 1800 777 156 to discuss your requirements.

      For more detail please refer to Section 6 of the Combined Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement.

    7. What is PSS?

      The Premium Support Scheme is a Federal Government Scheme that was introduced from 1 January 2004 to assist doctors with affordability of medical indemnity insurance.

      Click here for more information on PSS and other Federal Government Schemes.

    8. What is ROCS?

      ROCS or the Run-off Cover Indemnity Scheme is a Federal Government Scheme that came into effect on 1 July 2004. The aim of ROCS is to provide eligible doctors with access to free run-off cover for claims after they retire from private medical practice at age 65 or over, if they retire due to permanent disablement, or in some other circumstances including if they are on maternity leave, die, or leave Australia.

      Click here for more information on ROCS and other Federal Government Schemes.

    9. I am indemnified by the public hospital, so do I need any other cover?

      Whilst you may be employed and indemnified by a public hospital there are some things that you may not be covered for, which may include:

      • Legal costs and expenses incurred in relation to inquests, inquiries, investigations or complaints arising from:
        • Medical Board or other tribunal matters
        • Coronial inquiries
        • Health Insurance Act inquiries
        • Criminal investigations and proceedings
        • ACCC inquiries
        • Pursuing complaints or proceedings in relation to a contract as a VMO
      • Private practice
      • Good Samaritan Acts and Gratuitous Advice.

      We have also developed case studies to help you identify when and how employer indemnified doctors can benefit from their own cover through the support and resources offered by MIGA.

      MIGA offers a range of insurance options tailored to the needs of doctors who are employed but still need to arrange some level of insurance.

      Click here for more detail on our Employer Indemnified insurance.

      We strongly recommend you obtain confirmation in writing that you are indemnified by your employer and the terms, conditions and exclusions of the indemnity provided. 

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  2. Midwives

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  3. Risk Management

    1. How do I book into Risk Management Program activities?

      MIGA clients can book into Risk Management Program activities online via the Client Area. 

      Click here to access the Client Area, or alternatively click on the Client Log-in button located at the top right of the screen.  Follow the prompts to provide your Client Number and password and once in the Client Area proceed to the Risk Management Program section.

      If you have any questions about booking into Risk Management Program activities you can contact us at risk@miga.com.au or by telephone on 1800 777 156.

    2. I want to access the Client Area of MIGA's website, but I have forgotten my password.

      Please telephone the Risk Management Department on 1800 777 156 or email miga@miga.com.au and ask one of our friendly staff for assistance.

    3. How do I know how many Risk Management Points I have for this Risk Management year and previous years?

      You can access your Risk Management Point history online via the Client Area. If you then click on the menu item 'Risk Management Program', you will be provided with your Risk Management Program Point history for the current and previous years.

    4. How do I know what activities I've completed for this year and previous Risk Management years?

      Clients can access their Risk Management Activity History by logging in to the Client Area of MIGA's website. In the Client Area click on the menu item 'Risk Management Program', then select the Risk Management Activity History link from the menu items listed on the left side of the screen.

    5. Do I need to send in a copy of the practice accreditation certificate each year?

      Yes, a copy of the practice accreditation certificate needs to be faxed or posted to MIGA each year for 2 Risk Management Points to be awarded. We request a copy annually because:

      • Accreditation cycle start and finish dates vary
      • You may cease working at the site
      • Accreditation may be suspended

      Please remember to include your name and Client Number when faxing certificates to MIGA.

    6. If I attend an externally accredited workshop do I need to send a copy of the Certificate of Attendance to MIGA?

      Yes, a copy of the Certificate of Attendance needs to be faxed or posted to MIGA before the end of March each year as the providers do not notify us of your attendance.

      If you attend a Cognitive Institute workshop that is not part of MIGA's Risk Management Program you will need to complete a Cognitive Institute Proof of Attendance certificate order form at the workshop or with the Cognitive Institute direct on 07 3876 5711 or email: enquiries@cognitiveinstitute.org and then fax or post a copy of the Cognitive Institute Certificate to MIGA.

      If providers of externally accredited activities do not issue certificates in time for the end of March, or you are aware it can take a couple of months to receive the certificate, it is the attendee's responsibility to contact the workshop provider and request a copy.

      Please remember to include your name and Client Number when faxing certificates to MIGA.  All Certificates/Proof of Attendance must be forwarded to MIGA well before the end of March.

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  4. Medical Students

    1. Why should I join MIGA as a student?

      MIGA supports medical students via a free Protection Package, including:

      • FREE comprehensive insurance cover
      • Access to financial assistance through MIGA's Elective Grants Program
      • Regular emails and competitions exclusive to students
      • Support and advice via our 24/7 emergency support service
      • MIGA's bi-monthly Bulletin - providing an insight into your future career as a doctor
      • Free Medical Indemnity insurance as an Intern when you complete your medical studies.

      Join MIGA and you too can Study with confidence!

    2. Why do medical students need insurance?

      "Isn't a medical indemnity insurer someone you only need when a patient sues you?"

      This is a common misperception and we understand it can sometimes be difficult to recognise the importance of medical indemnity for students.  We've developed case studies highlighting how and when you can benefit from insurance cover, and how MIGA can assist you to deal with difficult and unfamiliar situations - view them here.

      As a result of the recent National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, medical students are required to be registered with the National Medical Board.  This registration provides the Board with the power to initiate inquiries in relation to your conduct should they become aware of any possible issues or a complaint.  If you are required to appear before the Medical Board you may need to arrange your own legal representation and this can be very costly.  MIGA can support you not only by meeting the costs of this representation but by providing you access to highly experienced lawyers who specialise in this area.

      There are many interactions which can result in the need for advice and support of a medico-legal nature.  Don't take unnecessary risks when free insurance cover is available to you - join MIGA and Study with confidence.

    3. Why does MIGA offer the Elective Grants Program for medical students?

      At MIGA we see the Elective Grants Program as a practical way for us to assist medical students to develop their skills and to assist developing communities from around the world that are in need of medical services. By offering the Elective Grants Program we hope to achieve three objectives:

      • To bring medical skills to communities in desperate need
      • To provide medical or other aid to the community in a key area as identified by the student, and
      • To enrich the student's learning experience through exposure to new cultures and the delivery of health care in a different setting.

      The Elective Grants Program commenced in 2004 and since that time many developing communities from around the world have been touched by the medical students who have freely given their time and expertise.

      Saving the sight of a single person can have a tremendously positive ripple effect. Seemingly minor interventions can have far reaching, long term positive impacts on the patient, their family and wider community.

      Through our funding and your skills, together we can make a difference!

      Find out more about the opportunities available throught the Elective Grants Program.

    4. What happens if you start your Intern year in 2014?

      As a student member of MIGA one of the key benefits is the opportunity to access free Intern insurance when you graduate from your studies.  Keeping things simple for you is important to us, so if you are commencing your Intern year in 2014 we will automatically convert your existing student insurance to Intern insurance from 1 January 2014 - at no cost to you.  During this period we will keep you informed of the upgrade to your cover and provide you with new policy documents.

      A new adventure starts as you enter life as an Intern, and you will face many challenges.  It's comforting to know the one thing you won't need to worry about is your medical indemnity insurance!

      MIGA is pleased to support you in each and every stage of your adventure in medicine.

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  5. Medico Legal

    1. I have completed the Claims and Circumstances Form and sent it to you, what happens next?

      The next steps to manage your claim will be considered.  These may be:

      • A letter of acknowledgement to you together with a request for further information if indicated e.g. a copy of your notes or a meeting with you to discuss the matter
      • If action is required we will discuss that with you e.g. a letter of response to be prepared to a complainant or notes sent to a solicitor
      • If the notification is a claim which has already commenced i.e. proceeedings issued, we will instruct our external solicitors to assist with management of the claim.  MIGA has a panel of solicitors who have expertise in medical law.  We will discuss the choice of solicitor with you
      • We aim to attend the first meeting with you and the solicitor and will continue to provide instructions to the solicitor during the claim
      • You will need to meet with the solicitor to provide information from time to time.
    2. I am the subject of a claim, how long will it take to resolve?

      This depends on a number of issues including severity of the injury and complexity of the medical issues.  Duration is also determined by how much investigation is required to clarify issues of 'negligence' and whether the injury and loss which flows can be assessed with any degree of certainty.

      Small claims are often settled within a few weeks.  Most claims are resolved within two years and very serious claims eg birth injury, can take over ten years to resolve.

    3. Do I need to send you the patient's original notes?

      Whether we need to view patient notes is determined on a case by case basis.  We will contact you if, upon reviewing the Claim Form, we believe we need to access the patient record.  If we decide to view the notes then we will ask you to send us a copy of the notes, or we will meet with you and obtain a copy at that time.

    4. I feel very anxious about a claim, can you help me with this?

      Each year MIGA assists its clients handle the emotional pressure associated with a claim or investigation.  Some clients cope with this pressure better than others, some seek help and support and others don't.  Some clients who have a claim are reluctant to seek out the support they need.

      Every client involved in a claim has different support needs, be it from family and friends, understanding colleagues, legal advisors or professional medical support.  In our experience, clients involved in a claim or investigation experience a range of emotional, physical, behavioural and mental responses.  The resulting strain can lead to a loss of perspective and difficulty coping with the everyday demands of life, both in their practice and at home.

      We always do our best to ensure clients are involved and supported during litigation, and provide additional reassurance about what they can expect during the process.  For the duration of a claim or investigation we are available to provide you with the confidential guidance and support you may require.

      Should you feel particularly anxious about a claim, we encourage you to contact our Medico-legal Department on 1800 777 156 and talk to one of our in-house lawyers.  They can discuss with you your individual needs and agree the best support framework for you.

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Medico-Legal