COVID-19 Response: Click here for the latest State Bar and court developments.
Find out how you can save money and protect yourself, your family or your business through the insurance benefits available to State Bar members.
Designed to address the needs of most small businesses, BIZLock® is an affordable solution that delivers essential risk management tools to mitigate exposures, 24/7 access to experts to respond to incidents, and the financial protection provided by one of the industry’s largest insurers of cyber insurance - AIG. Learn more.
On July 1, 2017 the Wisconsin Supreme Court added language to SCR 20:1.15 (WI Trust Account Rule (SCR 20:1.15(f) (3) c.2) This change makes electronic banking easier for lawyers and provides lawyers several options for managing trust property and trust accounts and allows lawyers flexibility to determine the best option for their practice. One of the options allows an attorney to maintain a “bond or crime policy” in an amount sufficient to cover the maximum daily account balance during the prior calendar year.
In a collaborative effort between the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Office of Lawyer Regulation, Cap specialty, and M3 Insurance, Cap Specialty developed tailored policies that meet these new requirements. Cap Specialty is the ONLY insurance carrier willing to create these tailored policies that comply with the Wisconsin Supreme Court requirement.
As a State Bar member, you may be eligible to participate in West Bend's Association Plus® program. The program packages a variety of personal insurance coverages with special features and discounts.
At the foundation of the program is the popular Home and Highway® coverage. Home and Highway offers many unique features including the Premium Value Award®. Five percent of your annual premium will be returned to you each year you don't have a claim!
As a State Bar member, you'll also receive an immediate group discount when you enroll, and when your policy renews. Each participant also will be eligible for further discounts based on the driving habits and loss experiences of participating members of your group. And you'll have the option of several convenient payment plans, including Electronic funds transfer and online payments.
For more information about Association Plus, call the independent insurance agency in your area that represents West Bend. For a list of agents in your area, visit www.thesilverlining.com.
The State Bar’s Association Health Plan is another option to consider as you review your health care coverage for 2020.
Plan coverage provided by the following:
For coverage effective 1/1/2020, paperwork must be submitted by December 15.
Contact the following trusted insurance advisor for plan information and rate quote, or click here for more details.
Professional Insurance Programs
com info profinsprog profinsprog info com
Keep these health-related options in mind to address all your health care needs:
Contact the following trusted insurance advisor or click here for more details.
Bultman Financial Services, Inc.
(800) 344-7040 or (262) 782-9949
Both groups have a long-standing working relationship with the State Bar and are trusted experts in helping State Bar members find coverage.
For tips to ensure best coverage, see Inside Track: Health Care Enrollment is Now: Tips to Ensure Best Coverage
Consider Health Insurance Options Including New Association Health Plan
New Association Health Plan Gives Small-firm Members a New Health Care Option
Navigating Health Insurance Options: State Bar Group Health Insurance Program Ends Jan. 1 – Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 15
Re-examine Your Health Insurance Options During Open Enrollment
Video: Health Insurance for Small Businesses
Running a Small Law Firm? Know Your Options on Health Insurance Plans
Pitfalls to Avoid when Evaluating Health Insurance Options
Know the Rules: Special Enrollment Periods for Health Insurance Plans
Health Insurance Open Enrollment Ends Feb. 15: Have You Explored State Bar Options?
Healthcare costs continue to skyrocket and remain a significant expense for all Americans. A partnership between TASC and the State Bar of Wisconsin brings members access to tax-advantaged benefits to help to combat those rising healthcare costs.
TASC provides clients with peace of mind and protects your bottom line. TASC offers:
What are you waiting for? Click here for additional information about TASC and to schedule an appointment. Contact us at com microbusiness tasconline tasconline microbusiness com to speak with a TASC representative.
The State Bar is pleased to announce it has added a group Dental Plan as a member benefit for members, their employees and their families. The SBW Delta Dental offers coverage in two networks: the Delta Dental Premier network and the Delta Dental PPO network.
Why should the State Bar Delta Dental plan appeal to members and their families?
Rates for 2020 will be as follows:
For information on health care deductions if you are self-employed, click here.
For more information on rates and benefits under this plan contact the Dental Plan Administrator, or click here for a brochure and enrollment form.
Bultman Financial Services
Keep on Smiling! Save Your Teeth and Your Money with the State Bar’s New Dental Plan
The State Bar of Wisconsin is pleased to provide access to EyeMed Vision Plans as a member benefit.
Why vision benefits? Why not! Vision disorders are the second most prevalent health condition in the United States. It’s an economical way to fit eye care into your budget, maintain your health and help your kids’ school performance.
The vision benefit is available in two levels. The Essential plan offers a base benefit along with discounts. The Enhanced plan offers a higher benefit and lower co-pay amounts.
Visit www.bultmanfinancial.com/sbw/vision-plan for the specific Vision Care Services provided in each plan.
With the EyeMed Plan, the utilization of many different providers gives you access to the biggest nationwide network and the most choice. Whether you live in Wisconsin or practice in another part of the country, you can take advantage of this cost-saving benefit. To determine the provider that is closest to you, visit www.eyemedvisioncare.com/locator, click on “Find Providers” and select the “Access Network,” or phone 866-723-0596 to speak with someone.
To enroll in this plan, complete the application and ACH payment authorization form located at www.bultmanfinancial.com/sbw/vision-plan.
For questions, contact the benefit administrator, Bultman Financial Services at 262-782-9949; 800-344-7040 or com customerservice bultmanfinancial bultmanfinancial customerservice com.
For more information on rates and benefits under this plan, contact Bultman Financial Services, or click to download a brochure and enrollment form.
13625 Bishops Drive, Suite 100Brookfield, WI 53005Phone: 262-782-9949; 800-344-7040Fax: 262-782-1454
Keep Your Vision Clear with New EyeMed Vision PlanTune Up Your Vision with the State Bar’s EyeMed Vision Plan
When purchasing life insurance coverage there are five critical questions to answer. They are:
Answering the above questions is necessary in order to decide which company and what type of coverage to apply for.
There is no simple answer to this question. There are some rules of thumb for determining how much insurance you should own, such as five or ten times your annual income plus an amount equal to total family debt. The amount should be adequate to provide your family with a life style similar to your current or projected life style. The effect of inflation should also be considered in this calculation.
This chart is a guide to help you determine what your needs may be.
As you apply for life insurance, it is important that you keep any current coverage in force until the new coverage has been approved and a policy is issued. It is a mistake to let any existing coverage lapse until the medical underwriting has been completed and the company is prepared to issue a policy at a premium rate acceptable to you. Any change in health during the underwriting process will affect the rating on life insurance and therefore the amount of the premium.
If you are fortunate enough to have a large taxable estate, this calculation becomes more complicated and the ownership of the policy becomes a major issue.
For a young family with term insurance, this is generally not a critical issue. Whether the insured or the spouse is the owner is a function of your overall estate plan. As your estate grows in size, an irrevocable trust may be wise. Life insurance proceeds can actually help to create an estate tax problem if lifetime estate planning is not prepared properly.
Generally, a surviving spouse will be the beneficiary of term life insurance. Again, this depends on the size of your estate. If you are divorced and have children, you should probably use some form of trust. You may also want to use a trust in the event of the simultaneous death of you and your spouse, especially if you have minor children.
Unfortunately, there are no fancy methods to help pay for term life insurance. If you are an employee of a corporation, the corporation can provide you with a tax free group term life insurance benefit of up to $50,000. Coverage above this amount will require some reporting of taxable income. Because employer provided group term life insurance is not usually portable when you leave a firm, it is not prudent to rely upon it totally. It should be supplemented with personally owned coverage. The State Bar of Wisconsin plan is portable even if you leave the state or give up your State Bar of Wisconsin membership.
When structuring the purchase of cash value life insurance, some individuals may be able to use a "split dollar" plan with their employer. You may also be able to use your qualified retirement plan, but not an IRA, to pay for permanent insurance.
There are two major types of life insurance policies: term and permanent.
Term insurance is the least expensive and comes in many forms, often making it difficult to compare policies. Term life insurance is generally purchased to provide pure death benefit protection. One of the most inexpensive forms of term insurance is Group Association Term Life insurance. By combining the purchasing power of a large group, the risk to the life insurance company is spread out over the entire group. There is also efficiency in underwriting and administering this type of plan. It is a great plan for young attorneys and their families because it offers a large amount of death benefit protection for a small premium. As your practice grows, this type of coverage may not be adequate on a long term basis and you should look at purchasing permanent insurance to supplement the term and begin to build cash value.
Permanent or cash value insurance is designed to give lifelong protection and comes in many forms. The most popular types are whole life and universal life. There are substantial income tax advantages to permanent life insurance, but it should be purchased only when you are ready to make a long term commitment to paying the premiums. The worst thing you can do is buy permanent insurance and then drop it after a few years. The cash surrender value after only a few years is often substantially less than the premiums paid.
The newest form of universal life insurance is Variable Universal life insurance. This type of policy offers several investment options including the stock market. While the potential return in the stock market is greater, so is the risk of loss. Only security licensed sales people can offer this product.
An alternative to group term life insurance is to purchase an individual term life policy. There are many options from which to choose when buying term life insurance. One critical issue to consider is the length of time the insurance will be needed. Factors to consider are the age of children, the ability of a spouse to earn an income, and any business or estate planning needs. (Term life insurance is seldom recommended for estate tax planning problems.)
If the need for life insurance protection is very short term, an annual renewable policy with premiums that increase slightly each year is probably suitable. However, if the need is for a period longer than five years, some form of term life insurance with a guaranteed level premium is probably better and less expensive over the term desired. The level term policy options include 5, 10, 15, 20 and even 30 year guaranteed premiums. The longer the guarantee period the higher the annual premium. Therefore, the time horizon should be given some serious consideration.
Although a policy with a slightly longer guarantee period has higher premiums, the higher premiums may be worth paying in order to have an opportunity to keep the coverage with a guaranteed premium longer. The extra money paid for a 20 year policy, over and above the cost of the 10 year policy, is used to help keep the premium low in the second 10 year period. The policy can be dropped at any time, and it may also be possible to reduce the face amount of a policy if your protection need is reduced. Because the level term market is currently very competitive, I generally recommend level term coverage for family protection.
When comparing level term life insurance policies, it is important to compare policies with similar guarantee periods. Some companies have level term life insurance policies with premiums that are guaranteed for only five years even though they illustrate projected level premiums for twenty years. If a company does not guarantee the price for a 20 year term policy for a full 20 years, it means that the company can raise the premium at any time after the guaranteed period. Make sure you know whether the policy you purchase has absolutely guaranteed premiums or projected premiums.
Another feature I recommend is that term life policies be convertible to some form of cash value policy during the guaranteed period. This will provide an opportunity to convert the coverage to a more permanent form of life insurance in the event of a change in the insured's health. Keep in mind that if the insured's health remains excellent, there will probably be ample opportunity to purchase new life insurance when needed. Your client should not wait until the last year of the guarantee period to check on alternatives.
If you own term life insurance purchased over five years ago, you owe it to yourself to review this coverage. Term life rates have dropped substantially during the last several years, and there are many new products available.
When comparing level term life insurance, always screen out poorly rated life insurance companies. I recommend an AM Best rating of at least A or preferably A+. Even the higher quality companies offer rates that are very competitive. If an applicant has significant health issues, they may be forced to include some companies with lower ratings in the search.
The role of the life insurance agent after helping you determine the proper amount of coverage and selecting a company, is to secure the best possible underwriting class. This will, of course, depend on the applicant's individual health history. Many factors are considered in the underwriting process including family history (i.e. cancer or heart disease), driving record, height/weight ratio, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The best underwriting class is reserved for the best risks as determined by the insurance company's underwriters. Underwriting guidelines vary from company to company. This is why an agent representing several companies can help "shop" for the best possible premium rating. Recent medical changes have enabled some medical underwriting problems to be less of a concern than in the past. (Because of health care advances, many heart patients are much more insurable than they were just a few years ago.) Smokers or nicotine users, however, pay substantially higher premiums when purchasing level term life insurance. Generally, the best rates are made available only to insureds that have not smoked for 3 or more years.
It is important to keep in mind that the guaranteed level term rates are a one way commitment. The insured can always "shop" their life insurance coverage to attempt to get lower rates. (One would want to do this if there has been an improvement in health, or changes in a company's underwriting guidelines.) The company, however, has guaranteed the level term rates for the term of years selected when the policy is issued.
Buying life insurance is not as simple as we would like. However, the need for this protection is critical. Few people would not think of having their home or autos underinsured, and yet they do not have adequate life or disability insurance.For more information on the SBW Group Term Life Plan email Bultman Financial Services Inc., or call (262) 782-9949 or fax (262) 782-1454.
Peace of mind for your family—insurance protection for their futureNo one wants to think about death, but if you avoid planning for the future, you could be forcing your family to abandon the lifestyle they are accustomed to.The State Bar of Wisconsin Group Term Life Insurance Plan—with coverage issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America (Prudential)—was designed for a simple purpose: to provide money to help keep your family’s hopes and dreams for the future on track following an untimely death. It’s money to help pay the mortgage, so they can continue to live in the family home; or to help with college expenses, so your children can get the education they deserve. It’s money to help ensure your family’s financial future is protected.
All association members under the age of 65 are eligible to apply for the Group Term Life Insurance Plan. Group Term Life Insurance is available to you in amounts up to $1,000,000 in $50,000 increments. Covered members may also apply to insure their spouses under age 65. Spouse coverage may not exceed 100% of the member’s coverage amount. Eligible dependent children under age 26 can be insured for $10,000 or $20,000 per child. All coverage is subject to Prudential’s approval of satisfactory evidence of insurability.
The provisions of the group policy allow you to transfer ownership of your coverage to your spouse, business partner, professional corporation or a trust. Transfer of ownership could result in a tax advantage for you. Contact your tax advisor for details.
The only death claims against your group term life coverage to be denied will be for misrepresentation of your application or death by suicide within the first two years of coverage. Please read your insurance certificate for details. For information on termination of coverage, also consult your certificate.For information, contact:
13625 Bishops Drive Suite #100Brookfield, WI 53005262-782-99491-800-344-7040Fax: 262-782-1454
Accidental Death Benefit Exclusions A loss is not covered if it results from any of the following:1) Suicide or attempted suicide, while sane or insane.2) Intentionally self-inflicted injuries, or any attempt to inflict such injuries.3) Sickness, whether the loss results directly or indirectly from the sickness.4) Medical or surgical treatment of sickness, whether the loss results directly or indirectly from the treatment.5) Any bacterial or viral infection. This does not include pyogenic infection resulting from an accidental cut or wound or bacterial infection resulting from accidental ingestion of a contaminated substance.6) War, or any act of war, except as provided by the War Risk Hazard provision. War means declared or undeclared war, and includes resistance to armed aggression.7) An accident that occurs while the person is serving on full-time active duty for more than 30 days in any armed forces. But this does not include Reserve or National Guard active duty for training.8) Travel or flight in any vehicle used for aerial navigation (includes getting in, out, on or off any such vehicle), except as provided by any Hazard provision, if the person is performing as a pilot or a crew member of any aircraft.9) Commission of or attempt to commit an assault or a felony.10) Being under the influence of any narcotic unless administered or consumed on the advice of a doctor.
This site may contain marketing language, on products issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, that has not yet been approved in all states.
Accelerated Death Benefit option is a feature that is made available to group life insurance participants. It is not a health, nursing home, or long-term care insurance benefit and is not designed to eliminate the need for those types of insurance coverage. The death benefit is reduced by the amount of the accelerated death benefit paid. There is no administrative fee to accelerate benefits. Receipt of accelerated death benefits may affect eligibility for public assistance and may be taxable. The federal income tax treatment of payments made under this rider depends upon whether the insured is the recipient of the benefits and is considered terminally ill. You may wish to seek professional tax advice before exercising this option.This policy provides ACCIDENT insurance only. It does not provide basic hospital, basic medical, or major medical insurance as defined by the new York State Insurance Department. IMPORTANT NOTICE: THIS POLICY DOES NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR SICKNESS. State Bar of Wisconsin Group Term Life Insurance coverages are issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, 751 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102. This presentation is intended to be a summary of benefits and does not include all policy provisions, exclusions and limitations. A Booklet-Certificate, with complete information, including limitations and exclusions, will be provided. If there is a discrepancy between this document and the Booklet-Certificate issued by Prudential, the terms of the Booklet-Certificate will govern. Contract series 83500. CA COA# 1179, NAIC# 68241
Long-term care insurance (LTCI) helps to offset the cost of a broad range of services needed by people, for extended periods of time, due to a chronic illness or disability. These costs vary depending on the services needed and can quickly deplete an estate.
Because the State Bar of Wisconsin is endorsing the LTCI plans of select insurance companies, these companies are offering a discount. In addition to members and their spouses, this discount is being made available to parents of members and their spouses. Employees of law firms and their spouses are also eligible for this discount.
Because of the many different features and benefits offered by companies, and the different underwriting criteria it is impossible to pick one company that is the best for everyone. By endorsing multiple companies the State Bar is allowing you to select the appropriate policy coverage for your individual situation.
When a person applies for long-term care insurance, questions relating to his or her health status will be asked. Each insurance company has its own underwriting criteria. You can download a form in order to receive an illustration, call us (262) 782-9949 or (800) 344-7040 or email Bultman Financial Services.
Click to visit our Long Term Care Information Center
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance publishes a free “Guide to Long-Term Care” (PI-047) to help evaluate individual needs. This guide can be obtained from the OCI Web site.
Read Mary Kay Bultman's InsideTrack article: Retirement plan should include long-term care insurance
If you are injured or sick and cannot work, will you be financially protected? You can be with the State Bar of Wisconsin endorsed Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance, a product of Anthem Life Insurance Company.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's LTD plan is administered by Bultman Financial Services, which also administers the endorsed life insurance plan. This flexible plan offers the advantages of individual disability insurance at group coverage prices, which are especially important for solo- and small-firm practitioners. The plan also allows members to supplement coverage offered by their employers. It is "portable," so you can retain the coverage when you change jobs, even if you stop practicing law and switch to another white-collar profession (if you maintain your State Bar of Wisconsin membership).
View information on the SBW endorsed individual long term disability insurance plan.
Download our long-term disability insurance brochure for more information and a long-term disability insurance application to begin the process of applying for this coverage. Or, contact:
Bultman Financial ServicesPhone: (262) 782-9949 or (800) 344-7040Fax: (262) 782-1454
Read Ralph Bultman's InsideTrack article: Plan for your future: Evaluate your long-term care insurance needs.
You can obtain high-quality professional liability coverage through the Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company (WILMIC). Formed with the assistance of the State Bar, WILMIC specializes in professional liability insurance for Wisconsin lawyers. For information call (800) 373-3839 or (608) 824-1700 or email com joe.mccarthy wilmic Joe McCarthy.
This is worldwide, 24-hour protection that pays in addition to any other insurance. This group coverage is available to you as a member of State Bar of Wisconsin as well as your employees. Administrative costs for group coverage are low, so you can save in premium costs and enjoy the benefits of the plan.
For more information on the SBW Group Accidental Death & Dismemberment Plan, see our Accidental Death & Dismemberment Plan page.
Johnson Insurance is offering a comprehensive insurance program as part of the Member Benefit Program of the State Bar of Wisconsin. As a State Bar member your law firm has access to property and casualty insurance, as well as auto and worker’s compensation programs tailored to meet your firm’s needs.
The practice of law is highly specialized and constantly evolving. We’ve made it our business to understand your complex needs. When you work with Johnson Insurance you can take comfort in knowing our trusted experts are truly committed to your company’s protection and best interests.
Visit www.johnsonfinancialgroup.com for information on how we can help protect your firm.