Special Committee on Personal Insurance for Members

Gary W. Lonergan, chair

The primary purpose of the Personal Insurance for Members Committee is to provide oversight of the VSB endorsed health, term life and disability income insurance plans.  The Virginia State Bar has endorsed such plans for more than fifty years.  With the help of our broker-administrator, the Virginia State Bar Members’ Insurance Center, 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 insurance products on their own.  The objective is for the Committee to do the “homework” while VSB members practice law.  Effective May 1, 2010 the VSB transitioned its Group Term Life Insurance Plan from Assurant to Prudential.  The market comparison conducted by our broker-administrator evaluated life and disability insurance companies for the purpose of assuring that VSB members have the best company, product and rates available.  After lengthy negotiations, Assurant’s (the life insurance company for the past 17 years) best and final offer was a 24% increase.  Prudential offered an overall 10% rate reduction from current rates.  All plan participants received a rate reduction.  The switch to Prudential will result in a reduction of participants' premiums in the approximate amount of $375,000, or about $125,000 a year for each of the next three years.

There are approximately 650 individuals covered by the VSB Group Term Life Plan.  There are about 240 individuals insured under the VSB Group Disability Income Plan.  VSB members have not seen a rate increase in either plan during the last 20 years.

The most popular component of the VSB-endorsed insurance program is health insurance with Anthem.  The enrollment of VSB members, and their staff and family members, exceeds 6,000.  Thanks to the endorsement by the VSB, participants receive “Value Added Benefits,” or extra benefits at no extra cost from Anthem.  Another important feature of this VSB-endorsed health insurance program is the ability to offer “sole proprietor” group coverage. An exception has been made for the VSB and several other professional associations. Ordinarily a minimum of two employees is required for group health insurance.  Due to the exception, an individual sole proprietor can enroll in the plan.  As health insurance premiums continue to increase each year, our broker-administrator devotes considerable effort assisting law firms and sole proprietors in their selection of the best health insurance plan available.

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

I would like to express my appreciation to Vice Chair, R. Paul Childress Jr., Raymond B. Benzinger, Franklin R. Blatt, Pamela Conner Gavin, M. Janet Palmer, Carol Joy Schrier-Polak, Susan Katherine Stoneman, and Kathleen Maureen Uston for their participation and commitment to the work of the committee.  Finally, I would also like to thank VSB Deputy Executive Director, Mary Yancey Spencer, for her all of her advice and assistance to the committee.  

Updated: Jun 23, 2011