Buying a Short-Term Disability Policy for Pregnancy
If you are planning a pregnancy, you should consider a short-term disability policy. Many employers provide this insurance, so that is definitely an option. It is taxable, and most employers will deduct the payments from your paycheck. Talk to your company’s human resources representative about it.
You’ve probably heard of family leave laws; these federal laws allow you to take time off of work when you have a baby, but employers are not required to pay you, so your leave is unpaid. A handful of states (Hawaii, California, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York) offer state-run short-term disability benefits with paid leave. If your employer does not offer this policy, and you don’t live in one of these states, you can purchase your own policy through an insurance provider.
You must purchase the pregnancy disability policy before you become pregnant, otherwise your pregnancy will be considered a pre-existing condition and you won’t be able to purchase insurance.
You can be paid up to two-thirds of your normal income if you have a short-term disability plan with pregnancy protection. Premiums for these policies are expensive, even if your employer offers coverage. However, compared to weeks away from work without pay, the premiums are relatively reasonable. An added bonus is that you won’t be taxed if you buy your own short-term disability plan.
When considering purchase of a pregnancy disability policy, it is very important to know exactly what you are purchasing. Most policies have set timeframes. For a normal delivery, the policy pays benefits for six weeks. If you have a C-section delivery, the policy will usually be for eight weeks. Many new mothers want to take advantage of the Family Leave Act and stay home for more than 6-8 weeks, so make sure your policy will cover that amount of time.
Some expectant mothers will buy the policy if they know they’ll have pregnancy complications and will be away from work in the late stages of pregnancy. You just need to make sure that this situation is covered and that your benefits will start when you go on leave.
Some women experience complications after birth that leaves them unable to return to work after the standard 6-8 week timeframe. If you find yourself in this situation, your benefits should continue. You’ll just need to provide your short-term disability insurance company with notes from your doctor stating your extended leave is medically necessary.