FAQ's

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New Midwife

Established Midwife

Policy Terminology

Who Needs Coverage?

Incidents

Billing

 

Answers

I hear there is a New to Practice Discount. Does it apply to me?

  • You are eligible for a 25% New to Practice Discount if you apply for JUA coverage within 1 year of your first license date. This discount applies to the base rate, ie. the premium you pay for the first 12 births. Your premium for births above 12 is calculated at the full rate.

Do policies renew on my birthday? Or on Jan 1st?

  • Unlike your midwifery license, your JUA malpractice policy renews on Jan 1st every year. Each policy term is for a full calendar year, except your very first year if you start your policy after Jan 1st.

How do I estimate births? What if my estimate is too high or too low?

  • In January each year, you will be asked how many births you actually did the previous year, and your premiums will be recalculated. If you overpaid, a credit will be applied to the new policy term. If you underpaid, an invoice will be sent for the extra owed. Some midwives prefer to overestimate so there are no big bills in January, others prefer to underestimate to help with cash flow. It's entirely your choice.

If my first policy starts mid-year, is it pro-rated?

  • Yes, if you are planning to attend less than 12 births.

    The pro-ration is calculated as the greater of number of births or number of days your policy is in effect. So, for example, if your policy will start Oct 1st and you are planning to attend 6 births, you will pay approximately 1/2 of the base rate (based on births.) If you policy will start Oct 1st and you will attend 1 birth, you will pay approximately 1/4 of the base rate (based on time.) If your policy will start Oct 1st but you are planning to attend 20 births, you will pay the full premium. Email liz@washingtonjua.com with your estimated start date and number of births and I'll happily provide an estimated cost.

I graduated in the fall, so my first policy is only for a couple of months. Will the New to Practice Discount also apply next year?

  • If your first year policy is for less than 6 months, then the New to Practice Discount is also applied to your second full year policy.

How much will my policy cost?

  • The Rates page gives the full details on how your premium is calculated.

My policy is described as "Claims-Made". What does that mean?

  • A "Claims-Made" policy provides coverage for incidents that happen after the policy retroactive date and which are reported during the term of the policy. When you terminate coverage, you are not covered for any lawsuit filed against anything that occurred during your policy term unless you either purchase a tail or reported the incidents to the JUA during your policy term.

What is a Tail? How much is it?

  • A Tail is optional coverage you can purchase when you terminate coverage. It provides future coverage for any lawsuits filed relating to incidents that occurred during your policy term, even if you did not report those incidents at that time. Tail coverage is calculated as 150% of the premiums you paid during the final 12 months of your policy.

Is Washington Casualty or Midwifery Support Services my insurance carrier?

  • Neither. Your policy is written by the JUA itself and always has been. Midwifery Support Services is the administrator of the program, a role previously performed by Washington Casualty and Physicians Insurance.

Which organizations are approved for peer review?

  • The JUA requires proof of completion of peer review every two years. Peer Review must be through a WA State CQIP approved organization. The up to date list of approved organizations can be found here.

I'm thinking of retiring so I'm dramatically reducing my practice size. What options does the JUA offer?

  • For midwives who have been licensed for 10 years or more and have had JUA coverage for 5 years or more, you may qualify for the a Practice Reduction Program. Click here for full details.

I'm taking some time off to have a baby/travel overseas/etc. Is there a sabbatical program?

  • Yes, if you meet the following criteria:
    1. You have a minimum full-price policy (i.e. you catch between 0 and 12 babies during the year that youíre taking a leave)
    2. Youíve  been a policyholder for at least 1 year
    3. Your leave will be between 3 months and 12 months long
    4. You will do absolutely no midwifery care in Washington State during your leave
  • The exact savings depend on how many babies you catch and how much of the year you work. The period that you are working is pro-rated based on the greater of the number of births and number of days, and the period of your leave is then calculated as a pro-rated 33% of the full policy cost. Email me with your leave length and best estimate of number of births, and Iíll crunch the numbers.

    You may be curious why this only applies to minimum policyholders. The reason is that midwives who usually catch 50 babies already get a break if they take half the year off because theyíll end up catching less babies.

    You may also wonder why sabbatical isnít totally free. Itís all about tail coverageÖthe way liability insurance works, you are only covered for incidents that happen while your policy is active. If you cancel your policy, youíre no longer covered unless you pay for tail, which costs 150% of your final year coverage. So when youíre on sabbatical, itís like a pseudo-cancellation, and the realities of insurance math mean there is a cost in the form of liability exposure  for the JUA if you expect to be covered for incidents occurring prior to your sabbatical.

 

I am hiring a birth assistant. Does the birth assistant need malpractice coverage?
We are bringing in a newly licensed midwife who will mostly be supervised initially. Does she need malpractice coverage?

  • Anyone providing any unsupervised clinical care should have malpractice coverage.
     
  • Birth assistants who are only employed to assist at births with the midwife present, and who do not do any unsupervised prenatal or postpartum visits may not need malpractice coverage.
     
  • New midwives being brought into the practice may well need malpractice coverage, since they are very likely to do some amount of clinical care unsupervised.

Why should I bother reporting an incident?

  • Reporting an incident serves two purposes. By talking with us about the incident, we can advise you on what to do and not do. Your actions following an incident can influence the likelihood of an incident escalating to a successful lawsuit. It also provides protection for you: by reporting an incident, you ensure that you are covered for future claims on that incident even if you do not purchase a tail.

I should probably have reported an incident that happened last year. Is it too late now?

  • No. While your policy is active or a tail in place, it is never too late to report an incident.

Where should I send payment?

  • Please send payments to: JUA, PO Box 1206, Spokane WA 99210-1206

Insurance reimbursements are coming in really slowly right now, so I'm struggling to come up with the premium that's due. Will my coverage end if I don't pay in time?

  • Coverage can be cancelled for non-payment of premiums. However, I understand the realities of midwifery finances. Please call or email me if you aren't going to be able to pay your premium in time and we can discuss a plan for catching up.