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Vermont, New Hampshire Governors Get Creative With PFL Proposal
The first big Paid Family Leave move of 2019 has already happened. Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont and Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire have teamed up to propose a new paid leave — a two-state voluntary paid family and medical leave program.
This plan would essentially create an insurance product that is not currently offered in either state. It would be available to all businesses, individuals and the states’ 18,500 public employees.
The actual payout of 60 percent and qualifying events wouldn’t be much different than other paid leave laws proposed or passed in other states.
What’s unique is that the two states, which share a border and are home to aging populations, would partner to create one program. They would work together to select an insurance carrier, or carriers, to assume the risk and manage the benefit and claims under this plan.
The carrier, or carriers, would develop a “state rate.” This would be the per-employee cost to each state to provide a Family Medical Leave Insurance plan to its employees. Under this new proposal, each state would cover the full costs of providing the FMLI benefit, so employees wouldn’t incur any cost.
Individuals whose employers decided not to offer a paid leave plan would have the option to buy coverage on their own.
We’ll keep an eye out for more interesting PFL developments in 2019.