Human Resources: Know PMFL Act Limitations, Options

Filed Under: Insurance, More News

Can your employees go 40 days without receiving income? Did you know that Massachusetts’ Paid Medical Family Leave (PFML) on average takes 40 days from filing date to payment?

The Paid Family Medical Leave Act is now law. It is a new employee benefit that business and employees contribute. The fund is used to pay eligible Massachusetts’ residents a qualified work leave not covered by a short-term disability policy (if provided for by their employer). 

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, employees in Massachusetts could apply for and receive paid leave under the state’s new PFML law. Most Massachusetts workers will be eligible to take up to 26 weeks of paid leave per benefit year under the new law. Year-to-date approximately 30,000 claims have been filed, however only about one fourth have started to receive the benefit, and none in a timely fashion. Typical wait time is five to six seeks. In theory this is a great benefit, however, the timely claim process has adversely impacted employees.

The state fund is not an employer’s only choice. Did you know other options exist? Private insurers offer the same coverage benefit with more competitive rating, easier administration, and faster claim payments.

You may want to consider purchasing (or ask your employer) the PMFL coverage from the private market for the following reasons: 

  1. Better pricing: private insurers rates are more competitive. And Massachusetts has already announced a rate increase effective Oct. 1, 2021 (which is only ten months into the program). 
  2. A claim payment turnaround of 5 days versus the states average of 40-day claim turnaround. 
  3. As an employer providing this benefit, why not get faster claim service for less money and help your employees benefit should they need to file for this benefit. 

Gabriel DeSouza is a commercial lines account manager at Murray and MacDonald Insurance Services, with offices in Falmouth and Bourne. He can be reached at 800-800-8990 or gabriel@riskadvice.com


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