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Prior Acts "Tail" Coverage

The phrase "tail coverage" originated in the insurance industry as a result of the introduction of claims-made professional liability insurance policies. Tail coverage was developed because claims-made policies do not provide coverage for claims or lawsuits made after the insurance policy is discontinued. If a health care provider intends to discontinue his or her practice in Kansas, it is important to coordinate: (1) the change in licensure status from active to inactive or some other category, (2) cancellation of commercial insurance coverage, and (3) prior acts (tail) coverage for the period of active Kansas practice.

Several years ago the Kansas Legislature decided to create an incentive to encourage physicians and other health care providers to practice in Kansas by granting prior acts (tail) coverage to those health care providers who remain in compliance with the Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Act for a minimum period of five years. For those health care providers who do not meet the minimum five year requirement, provision was made in the law which allows them to make application and payment for tail coverage via the Health Care Stabilization Fund. This prior acts coverage is optional and is available for only thirty days from the date the health care provider becomes inactive.

Providers with more than five years compliance:

The five year Availability Act compliance requirement does not have to be continuous; it must total 1,825 days, excluding residency training. A health care provider who achieves five or more years compliance with the Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Act and then becomes an inactive Kansas health care provider is eligible for the Fund's continuing coverage without any additional surcharge payment. This continuing Fund coverage (often referred to as the Fund's "tail" coverage) provides coverage for future claims or suits made against an inactive health care provider for professional services rendered while the health care provider was in compliance with the Availability Act.

Please notify the Fund Compliance Section in writing if you are no longer rendering services in Kansas and wish to activate your "tail" coverage.

Providers with fewer than five years compliance:

Health care providers with compliance periods of less than the required five year period may obtain the Fund's continuing tail coverage by making payment for an additional Fund surcharge within thirty days of becoming an inactive Kansas health care provider. The additional surcharge cost varies with the individual's prior Fund compliance records. Please contact the Fund Compliance Section for assistance in calculating the cost of the Fund "tail" coverage. The "Request for Prior Acts 'Tail' Coverage Estimate" may be downloaded from the forms page, or if you send an e-mail message to hcsf@hcsf.org and request the tail coverage estimate form, a portable document can be attached to a reply message.

Tail Coverage for Temporary Absences:

If you have been in compliance with the Fund for less than five years, you may submit an application to the Fund Board of Governors to become eligible for Fund tail coverage during the time you are temporarily out of the state.  Exemptions can be granted for the following purposes:

    A.  To participate in a religious service program;
    B.  To obtain additional education or training;
    C.  To participate in a humanitarian service program; or
    D.  To participate in a government program. 

To obtain a temporary exemption please follow these instructions:

1.  Download the "Request for Exemption from payment of tail coverage" from the forms page. In addition, download the appropriate "Affidavit" form that applies to your situation. Upon completion, return the application, affidavit form and any supporting documents (military orders, letters of acceptance into a postgraduate training program, etc.) to the Fund Compliance Section. 

2.  Contact your professional liability insurance agent or other insurance company representative and request the termination or other modification of your basic coverage for the period of your temporary absence.  

    -  If a claim is made for services rendered prior to the temporary absence, the provider would be eligible for Fund tail coverage.  
    -  Fund coverage is not available for services rendered during the temporary exemption.

Providers should discuss this matter carefully with their insurance agent or company representative and also review any other excess professional liability coverage you may have in effect.  The Fund may contact your basic professional liability insurer to obtain information about the termination or other modifications.

3.  Contact your licensing agency to determine whether any action is needed regarding the status of your license.

Other information: If you have been given a Power of Attorney for a health care provider who has been called to temporary active military duty or is otherwise applying for an exemption, please submit documentation of the Power of Attorney with the Request for Temporary Exemption.

Tail Coverage Surcharge Exemptions (permanent):

A provider with fewer than five years Fund compliance may receive a permanent exemption from payment of a surcharge for tail coverage. Permanent exemptions may be granted by the Fund Board of Governors only if the provider becomes inactive as a result of one of the following:

    -  Death;
    -  Retirement;
    -  Disability; or
    -  Circumstances beyond such health care provider's control.

Download the "Request for Exemption from payment of tail coverage" form and the appropriate "Affidavit" form and submit the forms to the Fund Compliance Section along with any other supporting documentation.  (death certificate, disability determination, etc.)

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