Law Firms Hit by High Health Premiums Can Slash Costs, Edholm of Business Benefits Insurance Writes in Legal Management

HRAs and HSAs Offer Innovative Solutions

ANDOVER, MA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2009) - Law firms often face subtle "discrimination" in health insurance and get overcharged for their premiums, but they can fight back by using a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or a health savings account (HSA), Jim Edholm, president of Business Benefits Insurance, writes in the March issue of Legal Management.

How much can be saved? About 18 percent -- without reducing coverage -- is a realistic estimate, says Edholm, of Andover, Mass.

Edholm's article points to four reasons for firms overpaying:

--  Location.  Most law firms are located in high-cost metropolitan areas.
--  Demographics. White-collar professionals, particularly partners, tend
    to work beyond the Medicare age.
--  Claims experience.  On average white-collar groups, especially
    attorneys, consume more healthcare than blue-collar groups.
--  Psychographics.  "To deliver the quality of representation you want,
    you must hire capable people," Edholm writes. "People of this caliber
    expect and can get excellent benefits -- if not from your firm, then from
    your competitors' firms.  Because of this, legal firms tend to have very
    rich benefits, particularly health insurance, which in turn leads to
    another unintentional de facto discrimination."

Innovative Solutions Save

The best response to these problems is for law firms to take on a limited amount of risk themselves, Edholm asserts. Instead of having the insurer the pay first dollar of each claim, the firm self-funds payments for smaller claims. It also sets up an HSA or HRA, which provide tax advantages for the firm's partners and employees.

The article provides a detailed case history on how a law firm can save with these innovative solutions.

The full text can be read at

Legal Management is published by the Association of Legal Administrators.

Business Benefits Insurance ( is an employee benefits planning firm. Edholm's benefits blog can be read at

Contact Information: Contact: Henry Stimpson Stimpson Communications 508-647-0705 Jim Edholm Business Benefits Insurance 978-474-4730