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Disability Insurance For Maternity Leave – Finding the Right Coverage


Disability Insurance For Maternity Leave – Finding the Right Coverage

Short term disability insurance is the best way to create maternity leave pay, and to also protect your income in case of complications, accidents, and illnesses. If your employer provides paid maternity benefits, funds group short term disability, or makes a voluntary option available at work, consider yourself very lucky to have these options. Many working women have none of these choices available via their employer, so they begin looking for individual coverage that provides pregnancy and maternity coverage. Such an animal does exist. But you have to know exactly where to look, and then ask a simple question in a specific way to get the coverage you want. It can be done, and has happened many times.

Some working women planning a pregnancy are lucky to work for employers who provide paid maternity leave benefits – but this is a small minority in the U.S. A slightly larger group work for employers who fully fund a group short term disability program that provides income replacement during maternity leave after a normal labor and delivery. Another even larger group of women work for employers who made a voluntary employee paid short term disability option available to all employees. These women can enroll in the programs before getting pregnant, and their benefit for normal delivery will greatly exceed the premium paid, creating maternity leave pay while also providing income protection in case of complications, accidents, and illnesses. If you fall into one of these categories you are one of the lucky few.

Many women work at employers who offer none of these options. So they seek out a direct individual short term disability option that provides pregnancy and maternity leave coverage. They quickly find that it is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Why is Individual Pregnancy and Maternity Coverage Hard to Find?

Why is it so hard to find individual short term disability with pregnancy and maternity leave benefits? Consider the math, and the answer becomes quite obvious. Short term disability insurance pays benefits for your normal labor and delivery – a planned event for many couples. The benefit paid for a c-section delivery might be four times what a woman might pay in premium annually. Plus the insurer is also on the hook for additional benefit amounts should mom experience complications before delivery, postpartum disorders that extend her maternity leave, accidents, and illnesses. In other words, working women planning pregnancies are a sure loss for insurers.

Insurers won’t sell individual disability policies with maternity benefits direct, because they would lose money on virtually every policy. But they do sell individual policies through groups on a voluntary basis, if they have the opportunity to pool risks with co-workers. This means that women can get a pregnancy and maternity policy they own themselves that is fully portable.

The Simple Question to Get Coverage

Women can get the pregnancy and maternity coverage they want if they can ask one simple two part question: “Would you take money from my check and send it to the insurance carrier, and do the same for any other employees who might need short term disability insurance?” The employer gets to look like a hero and it doesn’t cost them a dime!