WASHINGTON –The National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) adopted a model law on Saturday during its annual conference that will help workers to care for a family member without fear of economic loss. NCOIL is an organization composed of state lawmakers that develops model insurance laws for consideration by state legislatures.
Sponsored by Minnesota State Senator Paul Utke (R) and Arkansas State Representative Deborah Ferguson, DDS (D), the “Paid Family Leave Insurance Model Act” makes family leave plans a type of insurance that employers can voluntarily purchase for their employees. The policies would pay benefits:
After the birth of a child or adoption of a child by an employee;
When a child is placed with an employee for foster care;
To help an employee care for a family member who has a serious health condition; or
When an employee's family member in the military is on active duty or has been called to active duty status.
“NCOIL’s model law is a critical step toward addressing a need facing workers and providing employers an important benefit option to retain and recruit talent in the modern workforce,” said American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely. “Whether welcoming a new child or caring for an elderly parent, everyone should be protected from economic loss when taking time off from work to care for a loved one. The NCOIL model will help increase access to this important family leave protection.”
Life insurance companies already provide paid medical leave benefits through short-term disability policies to more than 47% of full-time U.S. workers. The NCOIL model will establish new laws in the states that permit companies to offer insurance plans covering paid family leave.
“We applaud NCOIL and the model’s sponsors, Senator Utke and Representative Ferguson, for taking action in support of workers and their families,” Neely said. “ACLI looks forward to working with state lawmakers to enact the model nationwide.”