Paid Leave for All Takes All of Us

Oct 1, 2021

Our nation is facing a pivotal moment as Congress works to achieve paid leave for all workers.

Whether welcoming a new child, recovering from an injury, or managing illness, Americans should be protected from economic loss when taking time off from work to care for themselves or a loved one.

America’s life insurance companies support paid family and medical leave for all workers. And we are eager to work with private employers and government to expand this crucial coverage.

Today, life insurers help provide paid leave through short-term disability income policies to 62 million Americans. That’s nearly half of full-time workers. Insurance carriers pay more than $11.3 billion in paid medical leave claims each year and, increasingly, paid family leave benefits are being added to employee benefits.

This trend — and support from seven in 10 voters across the political spectrum for building on and expanding the existing employer-based system — provides a clear path to accomplishing the policy goal of paid leave for all with the urgency it deserves for family financial security.

We know we can get there together.

Private insurers have the tools and experience to cover more workers and families, reviewing more than 2 million short-term disability claims annually. Most are paid in less than two weeks. This coverage helps employers and their workers navigate both leave and return to work, as well as compliance. Government can set guidelines, provide employer incentives, and support workers who don’t have access through their jobs.

Life insurers are committed to a public-private partnership to meet this landmark policy goal by leveraging the success of an effective system that meets the needs of both workers and their employers.

We have an historic opportunity to bolster caregiving and help people protect their family’s financial future. By building on what works in the existing employer-based system, the new policy can deliver a strong and sustainable achievement for America’s working families.

Paid leave for all takes all of us.

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 95 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.