May 13, 2020

Massachusetts: PFML Private Plan Exemption Process

The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law provides paid leave to eligible employees for one’s own illness beginning January 1, 2021, and for baby bonding, to care for a family member with a serious illness, and for certain military considerations beginning July 1, 2021.  Generally, it is funded by premiums paid by employers and employees but that a private plan can be used in lieu of the state plan.  For summaries of this law, see our prior Benefit Beat articles from July, May and April, 2019.

Massachusetts’ Department of Family and Medical Leave recently issued guidance regarding Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) private plan exemptions.  The Department developed checklists to assist insurance carriers and employers in ensuring that policy forms are in compliance with applicable statutes, regulations and bulletins.

Insurance carriers are to submit their policy forms to the Department of Insurance (DOI) on or before June 3, 2020.   The DOI provides a PFML policy form checklist for an insurance carrier’s use which outlines the standard provisions that PFML private insurance policies must contain in order to meet the exemption requirements.  After the DOI reviews the policy forms, insurance carriers will issue policies to their employer policyholders.

Employers that have secured PFML private insurance coverage but have not filed an application for an exemption must complete a Request for Exemption using the Department of Revenue’s web-based filing system, MassTaxConnect. Specific deadlines and timelines are explained further on the Department of Family and Medical Leave website.

The DOI does not regulate self-insured employers. Employers seeking a self-insured exemption may use the standards listed in the PFML policy form checklist to ensure that their self-administered PFML private plans comply with the PFML statute and regulations.


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