SPECIAL BAR BLAST: Health Insurance
Professional Associations’ Agency, Inc.
2106 1/2 Kanawha Blvd., East, Charleston, WV 25311
Tel: 304-344-5320 FAX: 304-344-5316
Date: November 7, 2013
To: West Virginia State Bar Active Members
Re: OPEN ENROLLMENT – WV State Bar Medical Insurance Program Ends November 30, 2013.
Attorneys can take advantage of a once-a-year opportunity during November by enrolling in the West Virginia State Bar-endorsed medical insurance program regardless of their health history or current health condition. This insurance is underwritten by United Healthcare. It is also available to your employees regardless of their health history, even if you do not enroll. It meets the criteria of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 requiring individuals to purchase health insurance by January 1, 2014. Here are some important features of the program.
No health questions.
Acceptance is guaranteed.
Once insured a person cannot be cancelled because of health conditions.
Premiums are not “step rated” (increased) because of chronic health conditions.
Neither all nor certain percentage of employees have to be insured.
Attorney can have high deductible plan while employees have low deductible plan.
Attorneys or employees losing their insurance may enroll regardless of health conditions.
Employees can enroll without the attorney enrolling.
Attorneys and employees joining the firm during the year can enroll with no health questions.
Eligible dependent children are covered to age 26 years.
Three benefit plans are open for enrollment, including two indemnity plans and a health savings accounts (HSA). United Healthcare has a nationwide network of health care practitioners and hospitals, which is beneficial with travel and children attending out-of-state schools.
The plans have various levels of benefits, deductibles and copayments with premiums reflecting the extent to which you wish to insure against health care costs. The HSA has these tax advantages: (I) contributions to your HSA account are tax deductible; (2) earnings on your HSA account are tax-free; and (3) withdrawals from your HSA account to pay medical expenses are tax-free.
Accompanying this notice is the 2013-2014 Benefit Choices, including the monthly premium for each of the three plans open for enrollment. To obtain an enrollment form please FAX your
request on your letterhead to Professional Associations’ Agency at 304-344-5316. If you have any questions please call our office 304-344-5320.
Attorneys and employees enrolling in November will have their insurance effective December 1.
Thank you to all speaker at the Advanced Mediation Training in Bridgeport on July 29, 2021. Kwame Christian, M. A. Esq., American Negotiation Institute, LLC, gave a great presentation on "Moving Through Mediation." He is pictured during his presentation and with past President Monica Nassif Haddad. Also in attendance and pictured below are past Bar Presidents Robert M. Steptoe, Jr., Debra H. Scudiere, Elliot G. Hicks, Monica Nassif Haddad, and Judge Michael J. Aloi. ... See MoreSee Less
The WV State Bar is pleased to announce this month’s MoreThanALawyer recipient, Duane Ruggier, a litigation attorney with Pullin Fowler Flanagan Brown & Poe, PLLC in Charleston, who has relentlessly advocated for a more accessible West Virginia to those challenged with a physical handicap. Duane was nominated by Vic Flanagan and Monica Nassif Haddad. Read below for Duane’s inspiring story.***************************************************************************Duane Ruggier was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his first year of law school in 1995. Duane, a high school athlete in basketball, soccer and tennis, went from walking and running normally to “walking the walls” and then using a cane, a walking rollator and now, a power chair. Despite his diagnosis, Duane continued to be a strong advocate for maintaining an active and productive lifestyle despite one’s disability. “I have never thought that things get better by just sitting on the couch worrying about your problems. I have always believed that it is better for you, your family and your State to get up and go to work no matter what your particular malady is.” Duane has devoted significant time and effort to the National MS Society and in making West Virginia more accessible to his fellow disabled individuals. “Though I knew that I had to first provide for my family, it was also important for me to help those with MS and to make our State more accessible to all individuals. If you are not in a wheelchair then you just can’t understand that a three-inch curb might as well be 10 feet high or that a bathroom without grab bars prevents you from using the bathroom or that having to park at the back of the parking lot is too far of a distance to actually make it to the courthouse.” Duane’s practice requires him to travel throughout the State, exposing him to many courthouses and businesses. “Wherever I go I try to make a positive change if I can.” With Duane’s advocacy he has been able to bring about changes to facilities such as courthouses, hotels, restaurants, schools and shopping centers including handicapped parking spaces at the Federal Courthouse in Charleston, the Harrison County Courthouse, Hurricane Middle School, Hurricane City Hall, CAMC General and at convenience stores, hotels and law firms around the state. He was also pivotal in creating handicapped bathrooms at the West Virginia Supreme Court, the West Virginia State Bar, CAMC Teays Valley, Logan County Courthouse, and in many law firms and restaurants. Duane is relentless in his quest for accessibility for the handicapped. Duane also serves on the West Virginia Access to Justice Committee where he has assisted with garnering over $500,000 in ADA improvements to West Virginia courthouses. Dan Kimble, Director of the WV Access to Justice Commission, praises Duane: “As a member of the Access to Justice Commission, Duane has been invaluable in helping the Commission members, WVU College of Law students, government officials and the public, gain awareness to the barriers that limit the full potential of those with handicapping conditions. The great thing about Duane is that he doesn’t just see the barriers; he goes through them!” As a member of the Board of Governors of the West Virginia Multiple Sclerosis Society, Duane is a frequent speaker and advocate regarding Multiple Sclerosis. With the assistance of his law firm, he has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for the MS Society with their involvement in the MS 150 Bike Race, Dinner of Champions, MS Art Auction and the Women on the Move Luncheon. In 2015, the Inaugural Duane Ruggier MS Golf Tournament was first held at the Berry Hills Golf Club in Charleston, WV with all proceeds from the tournament going to benefit the MS Society. The annual tournament is supported by attorneys from all across the State of West Virginia from both the Plaintiff and Defense bars and hosts golfers from as far away as California and Texas and even Sweden. This year’s Sixth Annual Duane Ruggier MS Golf Tournament will be held at the Sleepy Hollow Golf & Country Club in Teays Valley, WV on October 11, 2021. Please contact Duane if you are interested in participating or sponsoring at firstname.lastname@example.org.Duane resides in Hurricane with his wife, Jennifer. He is grateful for the support of his wife and children, Duane III, Anthony, Isabella, Gabriel and Hannah. “When you have MS, the entire family has MS, and I am more than blessed to have an entire family behind me.” Thank you Duane, for your relentless advocacy improving the quality of life and ensuring the legal rights of those challenged by disability and for being so much More Than A Lawyer.*****************************************************************************What is our MoreThanALawyer campaign all about? It highlights all the ways West Virginia’s attorneys impact lives within and outside of their profession. West Virginia's lawyers are service members, volunteers, mentors, coaches, musicians and committed advocates. In all of these roles, they make a difference in their community. Each month we share a MoreThanALawyer story on West Virginia State Bar’s Facebook and Twitter pages. ... See MoreSee Less