Tony Novak profile picture
  "AskTony" column archive        


Most Popular

AskTony Archive

This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

New questions

Submit consumer finance questions at and health insurance questions at

Sponsored by: Insurance Exchange - your source of valuable information on state and federal health reform benefits.

Core Health Insurance - America's favorite mini-med insurance  with affordable premiums, freedom to choose providers, optional PPO discounts and guaranteed eligibility regardless of medical conditions.

Please support the Web sites that make publication of AskTony services possible.

Group legal plans

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: My company offers a group legal plan that I am considering for 2007. The benefits sound pretty good and the cost is minimal. Is it as good as it sounds?

A: Group legal plans exist primarily because this is an approved tax-free benefit under an employer provided employee benefit plan. The plan can be paid by the employer or the employee. But there are two important points to consider: 1) when it comes to professional service, you get what you pay for. It would be naive to think that an attorney would be giving you her full attention for several hours of important work simply because you are a member of a legal plan. 2) In over 20 years of working in this field, I have not ever spoken with a person that was fully satisfied with the services of a group legal plan. It might have saved them a few dollars for a simply legal issue but a large number of people drop out of a group legal plan once they have had a taste of the actual benefits provided. Think of it as an HMO that does not offer office visits, only telephone service. Beware that there is an army of commission-based sales representatives touting the wonderful benefits of group legal plans and few if any other consumer advocate voices promoting caution. You would be better of putting that money into a salary-deducted savings account of some type, and then paying cash for a good local attorney when and it you need it. Most local bar associations offer face to face consultations with member attorneys for minimal fee (often around $40) and this is a far better deal than most group legal plans.


More resources: