Personal Insurance for Members

Daniel L. Rosenthal, Chair
 

The function of the Personal Insurance for Members Committee is to provide oversight of the Virginia State Bar’s endorsed health, term life and disability income insurance plans.  The Virginia State Bar (“VSB”) has endorsed such plans for nearly 60 years.  With the help of our broker-administrator, the Virginia State Bar Members’ Insurance Center (“VSBMIC”), the committee monitors the plans and the details of coverage offered.  The work of the committee and the administrator relieves attorneys of the time and expense of finding appropriate, affordable insurance products on their own.


The most popular component of the VSB insurance program is health insurance with Anthem, but the VSBMIC provides a variety of health insurance products from multiple health insurers. Thanks to the endorsement by the VSB, members with group health coverage receive “Value Added (extra) Benefits,”  at no additional cost from Anthem. Roughly 3,000 VSB members, staff members and family members receive their health insurance through carriers working with the VSBMIC.  In 2014, as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, most solo practitioners’ “group of one” or “solo” health coverage was converted to individual products at their renewal. In this post health care reform act environment, most of the changes to health insurance policies, such as community rating, were effective at either law firms’ 2014 renewal date or at the beginning of last year.


VSB members continue to be well served by the VSBMIC.  Serving as an agent or broker, its staff works tirelessly to help guide law firms and individuals with their selection of health insurance.  The VSBMIC’s work on our behalf, continues to be an important service as escalating health insurance costs and changes in insurance ratings and plans show no sign of abating.


Some 575 people are covered by the VSB’s group term life plan and roughly 200 under the group disability income plan.  In 2015, Sun Life Financial, Inc. acquired the disability business of Assurant, Inc., the VSB’s endorsed carrier for disability coverage. Sun Life is the sixth largest group benefits business in the country. While disability rates rose roughly 15% in 2015, the VSBMIC negotiated a guaranteed rate “lock” for our members through July 2017. The Committee is pleased to report that the rates for the life insurance plan did not increase this past year.  In fact, during the past 25 years VSB members have not seen an increase in their life insurance premiums.


I would like to express my appreciation to Vice Chair, Anne Hill, and also to Ray Benzinger, Cecil Creasey, Jr.,  Chris LaGow, Gary Lonergan, Tim Feehan, Robert Flax and Margaret Reed for their participation and commitment to the work of the committee.  I would also like to thank VSB Deputy Executive Director, Mary Yancey Spencer, for her years of assistance and counsel to the committee. Mary Yancey took a well deserved retirement from the  VSB after years of dedicated service.  We are pleased to welcome Renu Brennan, the Bar’s new Deputy Executive Director join the committee as our liaison. Robert Spicknall leads the team at VSBMIC along with senior benefits consultants Page Gordon and Kim Wilson. 


Information about these VSB-endorsed insurance plans can be found at www.vsbmic.com.

Updated: Aug 04, 2016