Don’t Leave It To Government Alone

Jan 28, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for paid leave options that support caregivers. Unfortunately, because too many Americans lack paid leave benefits, they are facing an impossible choice – caring for their families or keeping their paycheck.

The life insurance industry stands for expanding access to paid leave. Helping people care for their loved ones is life insurers’ most critical mission. Paid leave is a major component in the full suite of financial security protections for families nationwide.

In this important area, there’s an opportunity for a partnership between the private and public sectors. Life insurers pay around $19 billion in disability income benefits (the medical component of paid family and medical leave) annually and help protect about 40% of private-sector workers from losing a paycheck when they are out of the workplace after welcoming a child or tending to a medical condition.

As the new Congress and Administration search for a permanent paid leave policy that will expand support for caregivers, it makes sense that legislative solutions include the ability for employers to provide coverage through private short-term disability income insurance or other private market tools. Private carriers have the experience and track record of delivering paid leave benefits quickly and efficiently.

Lauryl Jackson

Lauryl Jackson is Vice President, Federal Relations for Financial Income Security and Diversity & Inclusion for the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). Prior to joining ACLI in January 2020, she led government affairs strategy for the priorities of the pharmaceutical industry.