Business of Law
Law Firm Offers Better, Cheaper Medical Benefits via Self-Insurance Plan
Posted Mar 15, 2011 12:44 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
If a lawyer or staff member at Stevens & Lee needs medical care, the law firm has a straightforward plan for covering such costs—it simply pays the bill.
By self-insuring, it not only is able to continue to offer the same medical benefits in an era of cost-cutting but save money, reports the Legal Intelligencer. The article is reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).
Meanwhile, Stevens & Lee is not concerned about catastrophic costs because it has two stop-loss insurance policies that kick in if either an individual's medical expenses or the group's shoot up beyond what was expected for the year, explains chairman Charles Harenza of the firm's employee benefits and executive compensation group.
From the standpoint of lawyers and staff, the system is much the same as previously, because an insurance company is paid to administer the medical claims being covered by the firm.
While such a set-up can be "fantastic" for some law firms, "this is an innovative idea for entrepreneurial law firms with a specific profile," says legal consultant William Brennan of Altman Weil. It only makes economic sense, he explains, for firms with a younger demographic that hence are not expected to have high medical costs.
Stevens & Lee has nearly 200 lawyers in 14 offices in Pennsylvania and other mid-Atlantic states, according to its website.