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A voluntary, employee-paid group legal plan is a benefit that can appeal to a wide range of employees.

Today, employees’ benefits needs are highly specialized. At many companies, for example, white-collar and blue-collar employees have different types of benefits. But a voluntary group legal plan is a benefit that can appeal both to white-collar and blue-collar employees.

More than 100 Fortune 500 companies offer group legal plans. The average enrollment rate for all U.S. group legal plans is about 8% to 10% of eligible employees, and some plans have enrollment rates of 20% or more. One global manufacturer that employs both blue-collar and white-collar workers currently has 53% of its employees enrolled in the group legal benefit plan.

Whether white-collar employees or blue-collar employees dominate an employer’s workforce, the factors that determine enrollment rates tend to be similar. In most cases, the prime driver of enrollment is the commitment of the benefits staff to integrating the legal plan into the employer’s flexible benefits plan.

Like enrollment levels, usage rates are closely linked to the actual and perceived value of the benefit. On average, group legal plan usage is around 120%. This means that for every 100 employees enrolled in the plan, 120 cases are handled.

Marcia L. Messett, J.D., is the group sales director at Hyatt Legal Plans Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, a subsidiary of MetLife, New York. She can be reached at mmessett@legalplans.com.

Opportunities

Benefits At Large Employers

Life Insurance 65%

Disability Insurance 39%

Long Term Care Insurance 33%

Prepaid Legal 26%

Source: MetLife, New York