A Group Legal Services Plan is an important part of the State's benefits package because it can help employees get sound advice and representation to quickly resolve their 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 legal plan, you can face your problems with the confidence that solid legal coverage provides.
You have 60 days from your effective date of eligibility/hire to enroll in the Plan or you may enroll during open enrollment.
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 2016 open enrollment will be March 2 through April 30, 2016. 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.
We also offer a Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan. For more information
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:
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:
You should refer to the plan brochure for a more detailed description of the covered services.
The Plan provides a convenient toll-free number (866-762-0972) that gives the enrolled employee 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:
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.
In addition to providing 100% paid-in-full services for covered matters, plan attorneys will review and prepare documents, give advice and negotiate on the employee's behalf in any matter not specifically excluded. At no additional cost, one hour of preventive in-office services can be received in each calendar quarter (four hours per year).
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:
The Group Legal Services 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.
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.
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.
If you would like to get further information about the plan, you should pick up a plan brochure from your department's Personnel Office.
If you have any questions regarding the covered services once you've reviewed the brochure, you can contact ARAG's (the plan Administrator) Customer Care Center Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., PST.
ARAG Customer Service:
TTY 800-383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)
ARAG Group - Use Access Code: 10202soc (Active Employees)