Risk Management

Surcharge Eliminated for Cosmetic Procedures

Digest, Spring 2013

At its May meeting, the OMIC Board of Directors voted to eliminate the premium surcharge for ophthalmologists who perform facelift, rhinoplasty, and full body liposuction for policies effective on or after May 1, 2013. The decision was based upon favorable underwriting and claims data tracked by OMIC since the company first approved coverage for these procedures over 15 years ago.

During a recent retrospective review of OMIC-specific and industry-wide claims data, it became evident that the risk exposure for these cosmetic procedures was lower than expected and that OMIC’s experience outperformed that of the industry. Only one claim and two incidents involving facelift procedures have been reported to OMIC since 1997. All three were resolved without indemnity and total expenses paid were $698. Two claims involving liposuction were reported against OMIC-insured physicians. One closed without indemnity and the other settled for $150,000. Expenses for the two claims totaled $24,715. A third claim involving liposuction was brought against an OMIC-insured surgery center for a procedure performed by an open-access member. No rhinoplasty claims have been reported to OMIC to date.

Cosmetic surgery has become safer in the past decade thanks to new “minimally-invasive,” “non-invasive,” or “non-surgical” techniques that carry significantly less risk than more traditional techniques. Continuing medical education courses have given ophthalmologists desiring to add these procedures to their practice the skills and training necessary to do so successfully.

Elimination of the surcharge means that ophthalmologists who perform facelift, rhinoplasty, and total body liposuction will now pay the same rate for professional liability coverage through OMIC as their colleagues who limit their surgery to traditional ophthalmic procedures. This rate is far below what a plastic surgeon, otolaryngologist, or other specialist must pay for similar coverage.


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#1. Consistent return of premium.

Publicly-traded insurance companies exist to make profits for shareholders while physician-owned carriers often return profits to their policyholders. Don’t underestimate this benefit; it can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your career. OMIC has one of the most generous dividend programs for ophthalmologists and has returned more than $20 Million to our members through dividends.