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Group Legal Services Insurance Plan

The Group Legal Services Insurance Plan (Plan) is an important part of the state's benefits package because it connects you with attorneys and other legal resources to help you resolve your legal problems. Chances are at one time or another, you may need an attorney. However, legal problems can be very confusing and costly. When they come unexpectedly, they can present a huge financial burden, not to mention the time you spend searching for just the right lawyer. California attorneys can cost $362* or more per hour. As a member of the state's legal plan, you can face your problems with more confidence using the resources available to you with your legal insurance plan.

Enrollment

You have 60 days from your effective date of eligibility/hire to enroll in the Plan or you may enroll during open enrollment. 

Open Enrollment for the State's Group Legal Services Insurance Plan is March 1 - April 30

An open enrollment period is conducted in March and April of each year to provide eligible employees with an opportunity to enroll in the Plan. The 2018 open enrollment will be March 1 through April 30, 2018. During open enrollment, eligible employees can enroll in the Plan and current members can change their coverage from single to family, family to single, and add/delete eligible dependents. If you're already in the Plan you don't need to re-enroll; your coverage continues automatically. Members may cancel their membership at any time.

Reminders for 2018

Monthly premium rates will remain the same

  • Individual Coverage - $10.19.
  • Family/Registered Domestic Partner Coverage - $17.74. 

The Plan was updated this year to provide even more legal protection — at the same affordable rate — with the addition of these valuable new coverages:

  • Personal Document Preparation and Review
  • Driving Privilege Restoration
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Administration and Estate Closing (9 hours)
  • Immigration Assistance
  • Insurance Disputes
  • Mental Incompetency or Infirmity Proceedings
  • Parental Responsibilities
  • Protection from Domestic Violence
  • Small Claims
  • Traffic Tickets
  • Trusts – Irrevocable
  • Trusts – Revocable (Living Trust)

In addition to the new coverages available, plan changes for 2018 also include:

  • Removal of waiting periods for bankruptcy, divorce, defense of civil damages and motions to modify coverages.
  • Removal of one use per year limitation on specific coverages.
  • Enhancement of coverage for general office hours — up to four hours per year for personal legal matters not already covered, and not excluded.

The Plan also includes Identity Theft Protection, which encompasses the following services:

Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan

We also offer a Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan.  For more information click here

General Information

Covered Services

The Group Legal Services Insurance Plan is a voluntary, employee-paid plan that provides comprehensive legal coverage. It is designed to meet the most common personal legal needs of an individual and their family. Covered services include:

100% Paid-in-Full Network Attorney Fees for Most Covered MattersPaid-in-Full Coverage for in-office Consultation

 

The Plan pays 100% of Network Attorney fees for most covered matters. Once you have enrolled in the Plan, you'll receive a welcome kit containing information on how to access resources and network attorneys.. If you need to consult with an attorney in the office, you have access to hundreds of California attorneys who belong to the ARAG attorney network.  Network Attorney fees for most covered matters are paid in full unless the plan indicates the covered matter is subject to an hourly limit. The Plan does not provide coverage for certain costs such as filing fees, reporters' fees, expert witness fees and other related expenses. Plan members also have the flexibility of using an attorney who is not part of the network. In this case, if the matter is covered by the Plan, you would file a claim for the attorney fees you paid and be reimbursed up to the amount specified in the Plan. The Plan's covered services include, but are not limited to:

  • Will and trust preparation
  • Domestic matters (divorce, child support, custody, visitation, alimony, adoption)
  • Minor traffic offenses
  • Bankruptcy proceedings
  • Consumer protection
  • Real estate transactions
  • Defense of criminal misdemeanors
  • Debt collection
  • Buying or selling a home

You should refer to the Plan Flyer for a more detailed description of the covered services.

Toll-free Telephone Legal Advice

The Plan provides a convenient toll-free number (866-762-0972) that gives the Plan member access to a Telephone Network Attorney for legal advice on most personal legal issues (no limitation imposed on number of calls or length of calls). These attorneys can also assist the member with preparing and reviewing a simple will and other personal legal documents.
Note: Telephone consultation cannot be used for legal matters that are specifically excluded from the Plan (e.g., the employee could not use the Plan for phone consultation regarding a grievance he/she had filed against the state). Telephone consultation service is available Monday - Friday from 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., PST.

Preventive Legal Services

For matters that are not specifically excluded, the plan provides four hours annually that can be used for advice or preventive in-office services.

Other Legal Services at No Additional Costs

  • Reduced Fee Legal Services. If your matter is not fully covered and is not listed under “exclusions” in your plan document, you are eligible to receive the Reduced Fee benefit and work with a local Network Attorney who will provide legal services at a rate reduced by at least 25 percent of the network attorney’s normal hourly rate.
  • Reduced Contingency Fees. Network Attorneys will represent you under a contingency fee arrangement. The fee paid to the attorney is based on the success of your case and is a percentage of the amount of money awarded. The plan member is responsible for paying any costs.
  • Law Guide. The online Law Guide is a library of information that provides comprehensive overviews of the most common legal issues — to help you become a better-informed legal consumer.
  • Online Document Library. DIY Docs® lets you create your own state-specific legal documents online. This is a step-by-step interactive document creation tool with more than 350+ legally valid documents, including state-specific templates like wills, power of attorney, and more.
  • Conversion Option. Plan members leaving state service can continue legal coverage by converting to ARAG’s conversion plan, by direct payment to the carrier. For more information call ARAG at 866-762-0972. 

Exclusions

There are certain legal services that are specifically excluded from coverage in the Plan. Some of these services are as follows:

  1. Matters against us, the policyholder or an insured against the interests of the named insured under the same Certificate.
  2. Legal services arising out of a business interest, investment interests, employment matters, your role as an officer or director of an organization, and patents or copyrights.
  3. Legal services in class actions, punitive damages, malpractice, court appeals or post judgments (settlement agreement signed by all parties, final binding arbitration, judgment issued by a court).
  4. Legal services deemed by us to be frivolous or lacking merit, or in actions where you are the plaintiff and the amount we pay for your legal services exceeds the amount in dispute, or in our reasonable belief you are not actively and reasonably pursuing resolution in your case.

Premiums

The Plan is a voluntary employee-paid plan and premiums are paid through monthly payroll deductions. The monthly premium is $10.19 for individual coverage and $17.74 for family coverage to cover you, your spouse or registered domestic partner, and any eligible dependent children.

Enrollment

The open enrollment period is conducted in March and April of each year to provide eligible employees with an opportunity to enroll in the Plan.

During open enrollment, eligible employees can enroll in the Plan and current participants can add or delete dependents. You don't need to re-enroll if you're already in the Plan; your coverage continues automatically. Enrollees may cancel membership at any time.

Enrollment Forms

Contact Information

If you would like to get further information about the Plan, go to the ARAG website (www.ARAGLegalCenter.com) enter access code 10202soc), or contact ARAG for more information.
ARAG Customer Service:
Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., PST.
Toll-free 866-762-0972
TTY 800-383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)
ARAG - Enter Access Code: 10202soc (Active Employees)

*Average attorney rates in California of $362 per hour for attorneys with 11 to 15 years of experience. The Survey of Law Firm Economics: 2017 Edition, The National Law Journal and ALM Legal Intelligence, October 2017.
**Eligibility, coverage, limitations and exclusions are governed by a separate coverage document. Please see the identity theft plan summary for details.
Limitations and exclusions apply. Insurance products are underwritten by ARAG Insurance Company of Des Moines, Iowa, GuideOne® Mutual Insurance Company of West Des Moines, Iowa or GuideOne Specialty Mutual Insurance Company of West Des Moines, Iowa. Service products are provided by ARAG Services, LLC. This material is for illustrative purposes only and is not a contract. For terms, benefits or exclusions, call 866-762-0972.

 

  Updated: 2/15/2017
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