The state offers a Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan (Plan) to all eligible employees who retire from state service and current retirees and annuitants. The Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan is an important part of the State's benefits package because it can help get sound advice and representation to quickly 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. Good California attorneys can cost $353 or more per hour. As a member of the state's retiree legal plan, you can face your problems with the confidence that solid legal coverage provides.
When you retire your personnel office should give you an enrollment packet. You will have 60 days to elect to enroll. If you do not enroll upon retirement, you have to wait until the next open enrollment period.
If you are enrolled in the Plan for active employees your membership will not automatically continue into retirement. You must enroll in the retiree Plan for your benefits to continue.
An open enrollment period is conducted in March and April of each year. The 2017 open enrollment will be
March 1 through April 28, 2017. Eligible retirees will receive enrollment packets at their home during this time.
The monthly premium rates will remain the same.
The Plan was recently updated to include Identity Theft Protection. These services include:
The Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan is a voluntary, retiree-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:
The Plan provides 100% paid-in-full coverage for an in-office consultation with an attorney. Once you have enrolled in the Plan, you'll receive a directory of attorneys and a listing of areas of law in which they specialize. If you need an office consultation, you can call one of the more than 500 attorneys who belong to the Plan's California attorney network. When you use one of these qualified attorneys, the hourly fees the attorney charges will be paid-in-full by the Plan for the covered services listed below. The Plan does not provide coverage for certain fees 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, you would be reimbursed after filing a claim for legal fees paid up to a specified dollar limit. The Plan's covered services include, but are not limited to:
The Plan provides a convenient toll-free number (800-511-4007) that gives the Plan member access to a Telephone Network Attorney for legal advice (no limitation imposed on number of calls or length of calls) and correspondence to third parties. Telephone network attorneys provide telephone calls and assistance with correspondence to third parties related to a Plan member's personal legal matter. These telephone attorneys can also assist the member with the following covered services such as:
Reduced Fees for Non-Covered Matters. The Reduced Fee Benefit provides a guaranteed fee reduction of at least 25% by participating attorneys for benefits not currently provided, but not limited and excluded under the Plan, when using an ARAG Group Reduced Fee Network Attorney for in-office legal advice and representation.
Reduced Contingency Fees. Network Attorneys will represent you under a contingency fee arrangement. The paid fee is based on the success of your case and is a percentage of the amount of money awarded.
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. The Do-It-Yourself Legal Documents allow you to create your own state-specific legal documents online. This is a step-by-step interactive document creation tool with over 300 state specific and legally valid documents like wills, child medical authorization, power of attorney, automobile bill of sale, child care and elder care agreements, contractor agreement, complaint letters and more.
Each coverage is limited to one use per family, per plan year. For example, services can be received during the year for the defense of one misdemeanor, preparation of one will, filing of one divorce, etc.
Several covered services have a "waiting period" which requires that new enrollees remain in the plan for at least six months before they are eligible to receive the services.
There are certain legal services that are specifically excluded from coverage in the plan. Some of these services are as follows: