NAIFA supports establishing Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) requirements that allow employers to select private plans over mandated participation in government-only facilitated programs. Accordingly, NAIFA supports the expansion of state product regulations allowing for the filling of private PFML products, irrespective of state PFML mandates. NAIFA remains neutral on PFML legislation that creates a publicly funded program, choosing to focus on the expansion of the private market insurance options to meet the increasingly strong demand for this coverage.
State legislation that includes a publicly funded PFML program should be closely monitored for inclusion of private insurance option opt-out. In addition, states are encouraged to closely coordinate with NAIFA government relations on this issue, as it is a top priority for several industry coalition partners who will likely be strongly engaged.
NAIFA supports the NCOIL Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance Act. The model authorizes state insurance regulators to approve products for sale that include family medical leave benefits, whether as a stand-alone policy or as additional coverages on disability income policies. The model can be implemented either with or without an existing state PFML program and is based on 2022 legislation passed in Virginia.
Federal law does not require employers to provide paid family and medical leave, although many choose to do so. Forty-seven percent of full-time and 16% of part-time civilian workers (62 million workers) in the United States are covered by some kind of paid medical leave (paid via an employer), which is provided and/or administered by insurance carriers. Additionally, 27% of full-time and 11% of part-time workers (34m) are provided with paid family leave benefits. Those numbers will continue to grow as federal and state policies encourage and support employers to offer these benefits. Paid family and medical leave are important to protect the financial security of working Americans and their loved ones.