Table of Contents Hide
- What is Maternity Leave Insurance?
- How Long is Maternity Leave?
- What Insurance Covers Maternity Leave?
- What’s Short Term Disability Insurance and How Does it Impact Maternity Leave?
- What is Covered and Not Under Maternity Leave Insurance Plan?
- How Long Does it Take for Maternity Leave Insurance to Process?
- How to Start a Maternity Leave Insurance in 2021
For every expecting mother working, there should be time off (maternity leave) to give their newborn proper attention.
The weeks of maternity leave are a time of enormous change for a mother. From taking care of her child to the financial aspect of the period.
In fact, finances will be much tighter, with formula, diapers, and countless other things to buy to facilitate their experience.
The need for a maternity leave insurance can never be overemphasized. Learn how to start maternity leave insurance in 2021 from this article.
Maternity insurance is vital to ensuring that you, your spouse, or your newborn is fully supported during your pregnancy.
There are a variety of maternity leave insurance plans available to you, with varying degrees of coverage.
You can control the scope of your benefits, including the amount of prenatal and postnatal treatment that is covered, the quality of your delivery and treatment rooms, the hospital where you want to deliver, the ability to choose your doctor.
If you have not gotten a maternity leave insurance plan, follow our tips below to start immediately. The table of content below will hp you navigate this article efficiently.
What is Maternity Leave Insurance?
Maternity leave insurance is an insurance product that covers childbirth-related expenses up to a certain limit.
This is a standalone policy and can also be chosen as additional coverage with your basic health plan by offering an additional premium.
Maternity insurance belongs to the field of medical insurance.
How Long is Maternity Leave?
US don’t have a standard length for maternity leave. It totally depends on the federal or state mandated law, your company, and personal choice.
In the US, the length of each state’s paid maternity leave varies. For example, in New York, you can go for 10 weeks of leave and still receive 55% of your average weekly wage. While in California gives six weeks with partial pay to employees who go for maternity leave.
A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 60% of employers grant 12 weeks of maternity leave; 33% give more than 12 weeks. This includes paid and unpaid leave.
Although the United States does not guarantee paid maternity leave, employers can offer paid leave if they choose.
What Insurance Covers Maternity Leave?
Looking for the best insurance to cover your maternity leave, there are several options existing.
- Company Paid Leave
- FMLA/Unpaid Leave
- State Paid Leave
- Your own Paid Maternity Leave Insurance
#1. Company-Paid Maternity Leave Insurance
Most companies give their employees paid maternity leave. Companies generally offer maternity leave in a number of ways, including, but not limited to;
The availability of these options depends on several factors. For example, your company may need a specific work time to access these benefits.
Also, you may be required to access your remaining sick leave before accessing other programs.
#2. FMLA/Unpaid Maternity Leave Insurance
The FMLA, which is the law on Family Medical Leave, is the foundation of all family medical leave. FMLA allows you, on your maternity leave case, to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from your employer to care for your newborn baby.
A key part of this law is that it protects your work when you return.
#3. State Paid Leave Insurance
Just few states in the US have their own short-term disability funds.
The states include:
For example, Rhode Island allows paid pregnancy leave, although there are specific rules to qualify.
These states have different requirements and maximum benefits, so we won’t go into detail on each one.
But generally speaking, you can apply for leave through your public disability fund if you classify pregnancy and maternity as maternity leave.
#4. Your Own Paid Maternity Leave Insurance
If you don’t have access to a company leave plan, or if you live in one of the 5 states with your own funds, you can create your own paid maternity leave using different types of insurance.
Even if you have access to a company leave plan, you may want to use this insurance to supplement your paid maternity leave.
You have several options. The most common option is to use a short-term disability insurance policy that defines a normal pregnancy.
However, this may not be your best option for paid maternity leave. Why? It all has to do with the costs of short-term disability insurance.
What’s Short Term Disability Insurance and How Does it Impact Maternity Leave?
Short-term disability is a type of insurance benefit that provides compensation or income replacement for non-work-related injuries or illnesses that prevent you from working for a limited period of time.
There is no standard definition of disability that applies everywhere. This could include things like childbirth, major surgery with a long recovery period, an illness that requires frequent treatment, or an injury from an accident.
Now, this is how it impacts your maternity leave.
Some employers offer this insurance programs to provide financial protection while you are away.
Short-term disability policies vary, but can provide 50-100% of your income for about six weeks after delivery, eight weeks if you have a C-section, or potentially longer if you have complications.
Policies have different requirements, so it is important to know how well you are covered before you go on leave.
Your company’s Human Resource Manager should be able to advise you on the correct ways to file a claim for either public or private insurance.
Will Short-Term Disability Insurance Cover My Maternity Leave?
If you don’t have paid maternity leave benefits, short-term disability insurance can step in and take over while you recover and bond with your baby.
Here’s what you need to know about using short-term disability insurance during maternity leave.
There are two main types of disability insurance: short-term and long-term policies. If an illness or injury prevents you from working, a long-term disability will replace part of your income for many years or until retirement (depending on the terms of the policy).
Short-term disability insurance, as you may have guessed, covers loss of income for weeks or up to two years, a temporary injury or illness. This is what you depend on for part of your maternity leave.
Many employers offer short-term and long-term disability coverage as part of a benefits package. So as a first step, take out your work benefits record to see what type of short-term disability coverage you have through work if any.
How Long Does Short-Term Disability Last?
How long a short-term disability last is another aspect that can vary according to your own plan.
By definition, it is short-term, but its duration can vary. It totally depends on the general structure of disability benefits through the employer.
Your free time also depends on your specific health problem.
Short-term disability is used to cover injuries or illnesses that persist for a shorter period of time (usually less than six months or a year, depending on your plan).
On the other hand, long-term disability comes into play for any problem that prevents you from working longer.
How Much Does Short-Term Disability Pay?
The short term disability pay is totally dependent on the your specific plan.
Some of these plans offer full salary replacement, but most do not at all. Rather, they offer a percentage of compensation usually 50% to 60% of your weekly earnings) with a dollar amount cap.
The amount of STD compensation you receive depends on your specific company policy and is generally based on your tenure with the company and is a completely separate matter from your health care benefits and coverage.
If your company pays less than 100% of your salary for STDs, the only way to get 100% salary coverage is to personally supplement your employer’s insurance premium payment (which some insurance plans do).
If this is not possible through your employer’s insurance company, you may need to purchase a supplemental policy with another insurance company.
However, generally, you will need to start paying for short term disability insurance before you get pregnant.
MST insurance policies are as diverse as any insurance policy, with some requiring you to spend your vacation or sick days before you can begin receiving payments.
STD plans often require you to be physically absent from your workplace for a week before you can begin receiving benefits.
What is Covered and Not Under Maternity Leave Insurance Plan?
Officially, Maternity leave insurance covers the cost related to:
|Maternity Leave Insurance Coverage||Maternity Leave Insurance (Not Covered)|
|Pre and Post-natal treatments & examinations||Treatment expenses that relate to infertility treatments|
|Medically prescribed Caesarian||Pre-existing diseases affecting pregnancy|
|Normal delivery||Congenital birth defects|
|Delivery with complications||Ambulance expenses for commuting the insured|
|Delivery following fertility treatment||Medicine costs out of the purview of the treatment|
|Hospital or Home delivery costs||Frequent doctor’s checkup expenses, consultation fees, etc|
How Long Does it Take for Maternity Leave Insurance to Process?
This is largely a personal decision for most women.
Under the FMLA, you must request maternity leave at least 30 days in advance. However, in reality, most women become visibly pregnant after just a few months, so many decide to inform their employer after the first trimester, when the chances of miscarriage are greatly reduced.
Legally, if you use FMLA leave, you can take leave at any time during your pregnancy or even after delivery (within a year of your baby’s birth).
How to Start a Maternity Leave Insurance in 2021
Once you have determined how long it is reasonable to take, how much income you can expect during your maternity leave, and what your baby’s expenses are, you can create a budget and plan to fill in the gaps.
The sooner you have an idea of what your financial situation will be like during your maternity leave, the sooner you can take steps to minimize any financial hardships you may face.
If you are a salaried employee, you may not have many options for generating additional income in the weeks and months leading up to your due date.
While you can try to find a part-time job, the later you are in your pregnancy, the more likely you are to be tired, making the idea of working overtime less appealing.
However, if you are self-employed, you can try considering more lucrative projects to earn extra money to finance your maternity leave.
There are many types of maternity leave, although many are unpaid.
Using a maternity leave insurance policy that covers a normal pregnancy helps. You will receive a lump sum dollar benefit that you can use during your maternity leave. Therefore, you have created your own paid maternity leave with this insurance.
With this insurance, you could, in theory, increase the maximum of your underlying health insurance.
Invest those savings and you basically cover the cost of your maternity leave. It is a win-win.