Employee Benefits Service FAQs
Employers and benefits consultants can find helpful information about the advantages of choosing and implementing Hyatt legal service plans. Locate answers to common questions regarding the administration of our plans and find out how employees benefit from our services.
If you have additional questions, or are interested in implementing a group legal plan at your organization, please call us at 800-423-0300, contact a Regional Manager directly or request a proposal today.
Please browse through the employee benefits service questions or select from the categories below:
Why offer legal service plans?
Why should my organization offer a group legal plan?
It’s smart, simple and affordable®! Many individuals fear the cost of legal fees and don’t know how to find the right attorney for their needs. Hyatt legal service plans are an easy-to-administer, voluntary benefit that address these issues by providing affordable, convenient legal counsel for everyday personal legal needs. Most plans are employee-funded through payroll deduction at no direct cost to the employer. Once enrolled, employees have access to an attorney, as if on retainer, through Hyatt’s nationwide network of 12,000 pre-qualified attorneys. Employees may contact an attorney for representation for a wide range of group legal services, in addition to telephone advice and office consultations on an unlimited number of personal legal matters.
What’s more, according to a 2011 Harris Interactive study, employer-based group legal plans improve productivity by:
- Reducing the amount of time employees spend handling issues at work
- Helping employees resolve issues more quickly (by an average of about 2 weeks)
- Giving employees a list of prequalified attorneys from which to choose
- Minimizing employees’ need to take time off to resolve their issue
In addition, employees enrolled in group legal plans through work feel more loyal toward their employers and see them in a more positive light. View a 3-minute presentation on these findings.
Why should my organization choose Hyatt as its group legal services plan provider?
Hyatt Legal Plans is the market leader, serving more than 1,500 organizations. These include 156 Fortune 500® companies, all major accounting firms and the world’s top benefits consulting firms. We have remarkable track record of service to our sponsors and their employees. Read more about why you should choose Hyatt Legal Plans. You can also read reviews from employers using our employee benefits package.
Legal Service Plan Coverage
What is covered by a group legal plan?
Hyatt legal service plans provide fully covered services for the most frequently needed personal legal matters, in addition to advice and consultations on an unlimited number of personal legal matters. Please visit the Covered Legal Plans Services section to view examples of covered legal matters in our model plan, MetLaw.
- If you are a legal plan member, you can quickly access the member site to view coverage for the legal plan offered by your employer, or call our Client Service Center at 800-821-6400 (8 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST/EDT, Mon. – Fri.).
- If you are thinking about enrolling in the legal plan offered by your employer, visit our information center. Your HR or benefits department can supply your password for the information center.
Can the plan design be customized for my organization?
Yes, we can customize legal plans for groups of 4,000 and more benefit eligible employees. Visit our Customized Legal Insurance Plans page for more information.
Are dependents covered by the legal plan? Do you use my organization’s dependent definitions?
Yes, our legal plans cover the spouse and dependents of the plan member, as defined by your organization.
If a legal matter is in process when an employee has been terminated or retires from the company, is the matter covered to completion? Is there a time limit?
We will complete matters in process that participants initiate while employed and still enrolled in the plan, even if the participant has terminated from the company. There is no time limit.
What is your rate guarantee?
Our rate can be guaranteed for up to three years with the execution of an agreement for the same term.
What about non-covered matters?
If you desire service for a personal legal matter that is outside the scope of the plan, you can still receive telephone advice or an office consultation about that matter, so long as it is not excluded. This enables you to discuss the issues at length, understand your rights and options, and decide on a course of action. After the consultation, the attorney may decide that the matter is actually covered by the plan. If it is, the attorney will advise you and provide the service. If the matter is not covered, the attorney will provide a written fee estimate and you can choose whether or not to retain the attorney for further representation.
Are pre-existing matters covered?
Yes, Hyatt Legal Plans encourages members to use the plan to resolve as many legal issues as possible, even if they are pre-existing matters. The only pre-existing matters that are not covered are those for which you retained an attorney before becoming eligible for our employee benefits service. This is necessary to protect the existing attorney-client relationship.
Do Hyatt’s legal plans include telephone advice and office consultations with local attorneys for an unlimited number of covered and non-covered matters?
Yes, Hyatt Legal Plans is the only provider to cover office consultations and telephone advice for an unlimited number of covered and non-covered matters, so long as they are not excluded. These services are offered by local plan attorneys.
Describe “fully covered” matters. Are all services fully covered? Are there any hour limits? Waiting periods? Dollar caps? Co-pays? Page limits?
Fully covered means that network attorneys’ services for covered legal matters are fully paid for by the plan. Plan members will not receive a bill from the plan attorney and do not need to complete a claim form when using a network attorney. All billing and payments are handled directly between the plan attorney and Hyatt Legal Plans.
If plan members desire service for a personal legal matter that is not fully covered, they may still receive telephone advice and office consultations about that matter. This enables them to discuss the issues at length, understand their rights and options, and decide on a course of action.
There are no limitations such as hour or dollar caps, waiting periods, co-pays or page limits when network attorneys provide covered services. Plan members are encouraged to use the plan and benefits as often as is required or desired.
What matters are excluded?
MetLaw, our model plan, provides a consultation benefit for most personal legal matters. What’s more, many personal legal matters are fully covered. For a list of fully covered services in your organization’s legal plan, please log in. The following matters are excluded:
- Employment-related matters, including company or statutory benefits
- Matters involving the employer, plan attorneys, MetLife and affiliates
- Matters in which there is a conflict of interest between the employee and spouse or dependents, in which case services are excluded for the spouse and dependents
- Appeals and class actions
- Farm and business matters, including rental issues when the plan member is the landlord
- Patent, trademark and copyright matters
- Costs and fines
- Frivolous or unethical matters
- Matters for which an attorney-client relationship exists prior to the participant becoming eligible for plan benefits
Implementation and Administration
How will Hyatt Legal Plans support my organization with administration of the legal plan?
Hyatt Legal Plans will assign to your account an experienced account manager under the supervision of the Director of Plan Administration. The role of the account manager is to assist your organization with employee education and communication, billing and enrollment transmissions and ongoing plan administration. Our account managers are highly experienced in the support and assistance of implementing and maintaining legal plans.
How many benefit eligible employees are required at an organization in order to implement a Hyatt legal plan? Our minimum group size for a voluntary plan is 500 benefit eligible employees. (If you are interested in an employer-funded plan, the minimum group size is 200 benefit eligible employees.)
What minimum enrollment is required?
There is no minimum enrollment requirement for a Hyatt legal plan. However, we expect the sponsor to support enrollment and offer the plan annually.
Please provide a timeline outlining specific implementation tasks associated with the employer and Hyatt Legal Plans.
Click here to view a sample timeline outlining specific tasks, activities and responsibilities for each party.
How does my organization provide eligibility data and payment to Hyatt Legal Plans?
On a routine basis, generally coinciding with its payroll schedule, the employer sends us an enrollment file. The employer also collects payroll deductions and sends payment on a regular basis.
Do you provide employers with communication materials to educate employees about the plan? Is there a charge for these?
Yes. There is no charge for our standard communication materials. We will print the materials and ship them to the sponsor to distribute to employees. Our rate does not include the cost to do home mailings. We are also happy to help the sponsor create a link from their intranet to our web site. Click here to view a PDF of sample newsletter articles.
Do you provide materials and support subsequent open enrollment periods?
Yes, Hyatt Legal Plans is happy to assist you with subsequent open enrollment periods by providing communication materials and support.
Enrollment and Usage
What kind of enrollment can we expect?
Initial enrollment rates average around 6% to 8%. You will find that enrollment tends to grow yearly as satisfied employees discuss the value of the legal plan with their coworkers. View best practices for legal plan enrollment.
What is your average annual member retention rate for a voluntary plan?
The average annual retention rate is 82%.
What is your average annual usage rate?
The average annual usage rate for our voluntary enrollment plans is 130%. For every 100 participants, Hyatt Legal Plans completes, on average, 130 legal matters each year. High usage is a significant factor when considering a group legal plan provider because it is evidence that employees receive a high return on investment for their benefits dollars.
About Our Attorney Network
Whom do plan members call if they have a problem with the plan or attorneys?
We encourage participants to send us an email or call us (800-821-6400) anytime should they have questions or concerns. We operate a full-service Client Service Center at our headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. Our representatives are trained to answer questions and resolve problems. We take immediate action to resolve the problem and generally succeed in doing so in 24 to 48 hours.
How do you ensure participants have adequate network access?
To ensure optimal attorney access and selection, we systematically perform a three-step process.
Prior to enrollment, we perform a ZIP code analysis of employee residences. Where gaps exist and expected enrollment rates dictate, we qualify and appoint additional attorneys.
Immediately following enrollment and before the plan effective date, we perform a second ZIP code analysis to determine if the panel of attorneys needs to be supplemented to better meet the needs of enrolled employees. We also consider additional attorneys who are recommended to us by participants and the benefits staff.
- If more than 5% of our plan participants need to find their own attorney, we will add more attorneys to our panel.
- We guarantee that 95% of all enrolled employees will have convenient access to local plan attorneys and we achieve 96% coverage for all of our participants.
Does your network include attorneys who can respond to email inquiries from participants?
Yes. We maintain a Law Firm E-Panel® that provides participants the opportunity to forward questions via email at any time to network attorneys in all states and receive answers electronically. Plan members simply log in and select “Attorney Locator” then “Law Firm E-Panel.”
What percentage of your attorney network do you communicate with and visit annually?
More Attorney Network FAQs
Our panel management department communicates with 100% of the firms on a routine basis, usually weekly. Our General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel visit a number of firms annually.