Legal Plan FAQs
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked legal employee benefits program questions. If you have additional questions about our group legal insurance plans please contact our Client Service Center at 800-821-6400 (8 am – 7 pm EST/EDT, Monday through Friday) or complete the Contact Us form.
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, on retainer, through Hyatt’s nationwide network of over 14,000 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 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.
Why should my organization choose Hyatt as its group legal services plan provider?
Hyatt Legal Plans is the market leader, serving more than 2,000 organizations. These include over 150 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.
What is a legal plan and why should I enroll in one?
For about $20 a month, our legal employee benefits program offers you and your family value, convenience and peace of mind by giving you easy and low-cost access to attorneys for a wide variety of personal legal services. It’s like having your own attorney on retainer. Payments are made conveniently and easily through payroll deductions.
When you use a network attorney for covered services, all attorney fees are covered by the prepaid legal plan. Advice and consultations on an unlimited number of personal legal matters are also included in Hyatt’s legal plans. When you enroll in the legal plan for only pennies a day, you can have a lawyer on your side.
Legal issues arise when you get married, have a baby, buy or sell your home or lose a spouse or a parent. Take the Legal Needs Test to determine other areas where you may be in need of legal advice or representation. Typically, lawyers charge $100 to $500 to prepare a will (double the cost if your spouse needs a will). The value of participating in the prepaid legal plan is clearly significant.
What is covered by my legal plan?
Hyatt legal 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.
- 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 am – 7 pm 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 access code for the information center.
- Also, you may visit the Covered Services section to view examples of covered legal matters.
What does “fully covered” mean when referring to legal services covered by my plan?
“Fully covered” means that all attorney services related to the covered matter are paid for by the legal plan when you use a Network Attorney. There are no co-pays, deductibles or claim forms when you use a Network Attorney. Also, you are entitled to advice and consultations for matters not fully covered by the plan, so long as they are not excluded. (See terms of service for a list of excluded matters.)
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.
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.
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 plan benefits. 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 personal legal matters, so long as they are not excluded. These services are offered by local Network Attorneys.
What matters are excluded?
Hyatt Legal Plans, Inc. offers a model legal plan called MetLaw. Customized legal plans are available for employers with more than 3,000 benefit eligible employees. MetLaw 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 or call the Client Service Center at 800-821-6400. The following matters are excluded from all plans:
- Employment-related matters, including company or statutory benefits
- Matters involving the employer, Network 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
How do I enroll in a Hyatt legal plan? How much does it cost?
Enrollment methods vary at each organization. Please contact your HR or benefits department to find out what the legal plan enrollment process is at your organization. Most of our plans cost around $20 per month through payroll deductions and are offered as a voluntary benefit. Costs vary depending on the plan offered by your employer.
I’m not enrolled in the legal plan. How do I get more information about the Hyatt legal plan my employer is offering?
Simply access the information center to review covered services and benefit definitions, and to locate attorneys in your area. Your HR or benefits department can supply your access code to the information center. You may also call our Client Service Center at 800-821-6400.
How do I determine if a group legal plan is part of my employee benefits program?
Please contact your HR or benefits department to find out if your organization offers a group legal plan to its employees.
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.
Can the plan design be customized for my organization?
Yes, we can customize legal plans for groups of 3,000 and more benefit eligible employees. Visit our Customized Legal Plans page for more information.
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.
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 200 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.
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?
We provide standard communication materials at no charge. We will print the materials and ship them to the sponsor to distribute to employees. We are also happy to help the sponsor create a link from their intranet to our website. Our rate does not include the cost to do home mailings.
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.
Using the Plan
- Review covered services and see complete benefit definitions.
- Find an attorney near you using the Attorney Locator.
- Get a case number by clicking on “Obtain Case Number.”
- Contact the network attorney of your choice and reference your case number when making an appointment.
Are claim forms required when using the legal plan?
Claim forms are not required when you receive service from Network Attorneys, making our plan easy to use. Claim forms are necessary only when you receive service from out-of-network attorneys.
Can I use the plan outside my state of residence? Is international coverage available?
Hyatt Legal Plans operates a national network of more than 14,000 Network Attorneys in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Plan members may receive service from Any Attorney. Anywhere. Anytime.® Plan members traveling outside the United States may also use the plan. Simply contact the attorney of your choice in your area. You will be reimbursed according to the out-of-network fee reimbursement schedule. You may call the Client Service Center at 800-821-6400 to get a copy of the out-of-network fee reimbursement schedule.
If I have a legal matter in process when I terminate or retire from my employer, is the matter covered to completion? Is there a time limit?
We will complete matters in process that you initiate while employed and still enrolled in the plan, even if you have terminated from the plan or employment. There is no time limit.
How do I find a Network Attorney?
- Plan members simply access the member site or call the Client Service Center at 800-821-6400 (8 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST/EDT, Mon. – Fri.) to use our attorney locator. After selecting the attorney, call to make an appointment or discuss the matter over the phone.
- If you are thinking about enrolling, simply access our information center. Your HR or benefits department can supply your access code to the information center. You may also call our Client Service Center at 800-821-6400 (8 am – 7 pm EST/EDT, Mon-Fri).
How are attorneys selected for the network? What are their qualifications?
We select attorneys who meet our selection criteria and agree to our Attorney Code of Excellence. Attorneys in our network have an average of 25 years’ experience in the practice of law (the minimum we require is eight), have graduated from an accredited law school, and must maintain valid state licensure. Additionally, the attorneys must maintain offices and agree to provide superior customer service to Hyatt legal plan members.
Whom do I call if I have a problem with the legal plan or attorneys?
Send an email to email@example.com or call our Client Service Center at 800-821-6400 (8 am – 7 pm EST/EDT, Mon-Fri) when you have questions or concerns about our legal plan benefits, Network Attorneys, or other matters related to your legal plan. 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.
Do the same attorneys provide both telephone and office consultations to ensure consistent service?
Yes. Having the same local attorney provide phone, office and representation for a particular matter is critical to consistent, quality service. We encourage plan members to select the attorney and service that suits them best and we expect attorneys to “go the distance” to serve plan members.
What credentials are required for joining your attorney network?
We select attorneys who meet our selection criteria and agree to our Attorney Code of Excellence. Attorneys in our network have an average of 25 years’ experience in the practice of law (the minimum we require is eight), have graduated from an accredited law school, and must maintain valid state licensure. Additionally, they maintain offices and agree to provide superior customer service to Hyatt Legal Plan members.
Whom do I call if I have a problem with the legal plan or attorneys?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Client Service Center at 800-821-6400 (8 am – 7 pm EST/EDT, Mon-Fri) when you have questions or concerns about our legal plan benefits, network attorneys, or other matters related to your legal plan. 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 many attorneys are in your network?
Our national attorney network has more than 14,000 attorneys operating in all 50 states and U.S. territories. We customize the network to meet plan members’ needs so it is strongest where our members live and work.
Does your network include attorneys who can respond to e-mail inquiries from participants?
Yes. We maintain a Law Firm E-Panel® that provides participants the opportunity to forward questions via e-mail at any time to attorneys in all states and receive answers electronically. Plan members simply log in and select “Attorney Locator” then “Law Firm E-Panel.”
Do you have multilingual attorneys? Do you have attorneys who specialize in certain areas of the law?
Yes, many participating law firms have multilingual attorneys and attorneys who specialize in certain areas of law. Our call center and website provide such data as number of attorneys in the firm, years of experience, area of expertise, and multilingual capabilities.
How often do you re-credential attorneys in your network?
Hyatt Legal Plans re-credentials all participating law firms in our attorney network on a yearly basis.
What percentage of participants uses a Network Attorney for services?
More than 98% of our participants use a Network Attorney for services. We monitor usage very closely and will add network attorneys in geographic areas where 5% or more of participants need to use out-of-network attorneys.
Can plan members use their own attorneys?
Yes. Plan members who wish to use out-of-network attorneys can request our fee reimbursement schedule by contacting our Client Service Center at 800-821-6400. The participant pays the attorney, submits a claim form to Hyatt Legal Plans and receives reimbursement within 14 days. If the out-of-network attorney charges fees in excess of the maximum amount payable, the excess is the responsibility of the plan member.
How do plan members receive service in states outside of where they reside?
With over 14,000 Network Attorneys nationwide, it’s easy! Participants simply use our Attorney Locator or call our Client Service Center at 800-821-6400 for assistance in identifying Network Attorneys in their current location or planned destination. Participants may use Any Attorney. Anywhere. Anytime®1, and always have the freedom to use out-of-network attorneys.
Are Network Attorneys restricted in the amount of time they spend with participants?
Not at all. Attorneys in our network are encouraged to spend as much time as necessary to assist and represent our participants and are compensated for all services provided. Our plan does not impose hour limits or frequency restrictions on covered attorney network services. We encourage usage of the legal plan and we expect Network Attorneys to “go the distance” for our participants.
Employers and benefits consultants, for more information about the Hyatt Legal Plans attorney network, or to learn about 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.
1. If services are provided by a out-of-network attorney, the Participant is responsible for paying the difference between the reimbursement amount and the attorney’s charge for the services. To obtain a copy of the out-of-network fee reimbursement schedule, call the Client Service Center at 800-821-6400.