Legal expense insurance program discontinued

Doctors of BC has discontinued the legal expense insurance program that was launched in September 2015 due to an unfavorable combination of high program costs and low member use. The program ceased at 12:01 a.m. 31 December 2016.

The program included a legal advice helpline and insurance to cover the costs of some legal expenses. The helpline ceased on 31 December 2016, but any member claims opened in 2016 will carry on to their normal conclusion, even if that crosses into 2017. For any potential claim that has taken place in the coverage period (prior to 12:01 a.m. on 31 December 2016) but hasn’t yet been submitted to the carrier, the member has 120 days from the date of the event to submit the claim paperwork.

Since the plan’s inception, just 3% of members used the plan, with an accepted claim frequency of 0.09%. The program also experienced a number of complaints, primarily from members indicating that neither the legal advice helpline nor the legal expense reimbursement program covered their specific concern. If it had continued, the price per member would have grown in 2017 because of a price increase from the carrier.

The Insurance Committee is currently looking for alternatives to this program, including using a different carrier or the use of a legal advice helpline only.

If you would like more information, please e-mail or call 1 800 665-2262. To contact the carrier, please call 1 877 333-4088.

. Legal expense insurance program discontinued. BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 1, January, February, 2017, Page(s) 55 - News.

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