The member benefits committee met on June 3, 2011 at the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Georgia. On the agenda was a report from BPC Financial as the recommended insurance provider, a review of the Law Practice Management and a proposal for self-insurance from Qual-Care.
BPC Financial, the Jacksonville, Florida firm that the Bar approved as the recommended agent, gave the report as to their activities. presently they are advertising heavily and are a Five Gavel sponsor of the State Bar. As of this date, they have signed 311 policies for Bar members since 2009. While this seems like a low number, BPC indicated that based on their experience with the Florida Bar, slow steady growth is part of the pattern, especially at the outset. The committee authorized BPC to make a Request for Proposal with insurance providers to offer better packages for Georgia Bar members through BPC as the recommended provider.
Natalie Kelly from the Law Practice Management program provided information on the services that the LPM group has offered throughout the State to small firms. Due to the economy, the LPM is seeing more attorneys opening small and sole practices. The transition to Fastcase has been smoother than anticipated. There have been very few com paints about the change from Casemaker and almost no technical problems with the program. LPM has conducted hundreds of tailings on Fastcase, especially web based training, so far this year.
Finally, the committee had an informational session with Qual-Care, a program that manages self insurance programs for associations. These programs are referred to Multiple Employer Welfare Association or MEWA. If implemented, the Bar would create a board of trustees to administer a self insurance trust. The board would then review the risk of the members insured and set premiums and then retain an agency to administer claims maintain handle the list of qualified physicians. Qual-Care has experience in handling MEWAs such as the Georgia Home Builder's Association and the a group of physicians in New Jersey. The been fits of such a program is that by being a self-insurer, we cut out the shareholder profits and executive salaries and can offer insurance at lower costs. The committee will be investigating this option extensively.