Special Committee on Personal Insurance for Members

Gary W. Lonergan, chair

The chief function of the Personal Insurance for Members Committee is to provide oversight of the Virginia State Bar-endorsed health, term life, and disability income insurance plans. The VSB has endorsed such plans for more than fifty years. With the help of the 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 most popular component of the VSB insurance program is health insurance with Anthem. The enrollment of VSB members, staff members and family members approximates 6,000. Thanks to the endorsement by the VSB, people receive “value-added benefits,” or extra benefits, at no additional cost from Anthem. Another important feature of this VSB health insurance program is the ability to offer group coverage to solo practitioners. Ordinarily, a minimum of two employees is required for group health insurance, but an exception has been made for the VSB and several other professional groups.

Our endorsed broker-administrator works closely with individual lawyers and law firms to select health insurance. The cost of health insurance continues to be an important budget item for every law firm. In the past year the average health insurance renewal increase for those in the VSB Anthem program has been approximately 4 percent. This is far less than the 12–15 percent average renewal increase law firms became accustomed to in the past decade.

Approximately 645 individuals are covered by the Group Term Life Plan and about 245 individuals are enrolled under the Group Disability Income Plan. The committee is pleased to report that the rates for both these plans did not increase this past year. In fact, during the past twenty years VSB members have not seen an increase in either plan. Instead, they have experienced several rate reductions.

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 Susan K. Stoneman, Raymond B. Benzinger, Franklin R. Blatt, Pamela Conner Gavin, Anne Winskie Hill, M. Janet Palmer, Daniel Leigh Rosenthal, and Carol Joy Schrier-Polak 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 advice and assistance to the committee.
Updated: Jul 19, 2011