SOURCE: Paul Werth Associates, Inc.

March 29, 2007 14:45 ET

Local Medical Leaders Develop Plan for Physician-Owned Insurance Company

COLUMBUS, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 29, 2007 -- In response to the growing health insurance crisis, local medical leaders have developed plans to create The Physicians Assurance Corp. (TPAC). The intended goal of TPAC is to provide a fair, equitable, and shared insurance solution primarily owned and managed by local physicians for both the medical community and small employer members.

"Group medical insurance premium rates are not stable for small employers, especially in the central Ohio market. It is not uncommon to see price increases two to three times the trend," said Dr. Alice Epitropoulos, founder of The Refractive Center of Ohio and board member of TPAC. "This variance leads to significant employer uncertainty and in turn, uncertainty to their employees."

"Small employers see larger premium rate increases because they lack the purchasing power of larger employers. TPAC will help to correct this growing problem by building alliances to create a stable and more predictable pricing environment for small employers," explained Dr. George Ho, another TPAC board member, chairman of the Mount Carmel Physician-Hospital board and member of the Columbus Medical Association board.

The idea of TPAC was generated nearly two years ago by a team of leading local physicians (who are now board members) that as employers and as physicians decided the current health insurance market was no longer acceptable.

As employers, these physicians experienced higher rates, making it more difficult to offer quality insurance for their staff. Meanwhile, as healthcare providers, they felt the pressure of reduced reimbursement rates and increasingly challenging bureaucracy from insurance companies

TPAC's founders and current board members include:

--  Alice Epitropoulos, MD      --  Jason Melillo, MD
--  Brett Wheeler, MD           --  Rick Weiner, DPM
--  George Ho, MD               --  Mike D'Eramo, MHA
--  Paul Burkhart, DO           --  Brett Bäby, MPA
--  Don McNeil, MD              --  Kirk Hummer, MBA
Making Progress

During the last two years of development, TPAC has made significant progress. It has secured funding to support an actuary analysis, completed a business plan, established corporate governance, and is preparing to apply for a certificate of authority from the Ohio Department of Insurance.

Insurance for a New Era

TPAC will operate initially in the central Ohio market. The group aims to provide four key benefits:

--  Credibility: Unlike publicly traded insurance carriers, TPAC will be
    majority-owned by local physicians, which brings with it local community
    relationships, respect and trust.
--  Local Ownership and Decision Making: Health care is local, and TPAC
    will be locally owned and operated with the intent of improving health care
    in central Ohio.
--  Transparency: TPAC and its financial and underwriting protocols will
    be transparent to the general public and its market.
--  Price Stability: TPAC's programs will be constructed to achieve high
    stability in the small group healthcare market.
    
TPAC chairman Dr. Brett Wheeler, a central Ohio anesthesiologist, believes, "Local companies don't feel they have enough strong insurance choices. TPAC is a viable solution. Our goal is to put patients before profits."

For more information about TPAC, visit www.tpacinsurance.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Melina Metzger
    Paul Werth Associates
    (614) 224-8114
    Email Contact