UniCare Spotlight
At UniCare our mission is to provide the people we serve with financial protection and security.

Learn More
Group Coverage @ UniCare
Provide competitive employee benefits that fit your budget, with our group life and disability coverage.

Learn More
Voluntary Coverage @ UniCare
Let employees choose their own coverage with voluntary life and disability insurance from UniCare.

Learn More

New York Paid Family Leave

PW_G316346

Beginning 1/1/2018

The New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL) Law goes into effect on January 1, 2018. This legislation requires insurers and employers to provide state-mandated Paid Family Leave (PFL) coverage along with its New York Disability Benefits Law (DBL) coverage. This new PFL coverage must be offered along with DBL coverage beginning January 1, 2018 for covered employers. PFL will provide expanded benefits for employees (regardless of gender) who have had a child, are planning to adopt, or need time to care for a family member with a serious health condition or relative on a qualifying military leave. The PFL will be included under an employer’s DBL policy and coverage for both must be from the same carrier. 
The New York State Department of Financial Services recently released the employee contribution rates. The maximum contribution will be 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage and up to but not exceeding the statewide weekly average wage of $1,305.92. The max contribution would be $1.65 per week per employee. An employer is allowed but not required to begin collecting contributions as of July 1, 2017 for coverage beginning 1/1/18. 
UniCare will include the PFL coverage on all DBL quotes for new DBL customers effective 1/1/2018. We will also be adding PFL coverage to our existing DBL customers. We’ll continue to work with The State of New York and provide additional updates.  

Effective Date Max length of paid leave Covered % of employee’s weekly income Maximum benefit (% of NY average weekly wage)
1/1/18 
8 weeks 
50% 
50% 
1/1/19 
10 weeks 
55% 
55% 
1/1/20 
10 weeks 
60% 
60% 
1/1/21 
12 weeks 
67% 
67% 
     

Frequently Asked Questions – New York Paid Family Leave

Will UniCare provide PFL coverage?
Yes, UniCare will provide New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) coverage along with New York Disability Benefits Law (DBL) coverage  
How/When will UniCare bill groups for PFL?
Premiums for the PFL are to be paid monthly, in advance, as is currently being done for the DBL coverage.  
Will UniCare add administrative expenses to the PFL premium?
No administrative fees will be added for fully insured PFL coverage.  
How are PFL benefits taxed?
At this time, regulations regarding PFL taxation are not finalized by the NY state departments. We’re researching the tax issues and will let you know as soon as final information is released.  
What amount will employees pay toward PFL coverage?
The New York State Department of Financial Services recently released the employee contribution rates. Contribution rates are community rated and are paid entirely by employees. The maximum contribution will be 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage and up to but not exceeding the statewide weekly average wage of $1,305.92. The maximum contribution would be $1.65 per week per employee. The employee rate equals the premium for PFL coverage. 
What amount will employers pay toward PFL coverage?
PFL coverage is funded by employee contributions. The employer is not required to contribute toward the premium. Employers can opt to pay for the coverage.  
Do employers need to start taking employee contributions July 1, 2017?
Premiums for the PFL are to be paid monthly beginning January 1, 2018, in advance, as is currently being done for the DBL coverage.  
It is our opinion that collection of contributions beginning July 1, 2017, is intended for employers who will be self-insuring the PFL in order to accumulate funding. Your DBL coverage with UniCare is fully insured as will be the PFL. Therefore, collection of contributions beginning July 1, 2017 is not required. 
What amount will be billed for PFL premium?
The premium amount billed will equal the employee contributions.  
Can employee contributions be taken on a pre-tax or post-tax basis?
We are awaiting additional information from the NY state departments for a determination on whether premiums may be paid on a pre-tax basis.  
What other actions must employers take?
Employers will be required to conspicuously post a notice in the workplace to indicate their compliance with the paid family leave requirements. In addition, employers must provide employees who take eight or more consecutive days of family leave with a written notice of their rights under the paid family leave law.  
Will UniCare require the PFL to follow the funding of the DBL? Or will UniCare offer insured PFL to those employers who self-fund their DBL?
UniCare will require the funding of PFL to be the same as for DBL, which is on an insured basis. 
Will W-2 practices follow DBL W-2 practices?
We are awaiting information from the NY state departments for a determination of whether a W2 or 1099-G will be required.  
Employees can supplement PFL time with Paid Time Off (PTO). Will UniCare collect that request and send it back to the employer? How will the request be collected and provided to the employer, to ensure compliance with the NY PFL regulations?
The employer will be responsible for collecting these requests and notifying UniCare if PFL will be supplemented by PTO.  
What actions must employees take?
The employee must give the employer 30 days advance notice of a foreseeable family leave. If paid family leave is foreseeable and the employee fails to give 30 days’ advance notice, there can be a partial denial of the paid family leave claim for a period of up to 30 days from the date the notice was provided by the employee.  
What’s the PFL benefit level?
Effective January 1, 2018, the benefit will be 50% of the employee’s average weekly wage, not to exceed 50% of the statewide average weekly wage, and not to exceed a duration of 8 weeks in a 52 calendar week period.
Effective January 1, 2019, the benefit will be 55% of the employee’s average weekly wage, not to exceed 55% of the statewide average weekly wage, and not to exceed a duration of 10 weeks in a 52 calendar week period.
Effective January 1, 2020, the benefit will be 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage, not to exceed 60% of the statewide average weekly wage, and not to exceed a duration of 10 weeks in a 52 calendar week period.
Effective January 1, 2021, the benefit will be 67% of the employee’s average weekly wage, not to exceed 67% of the statewide average weekly wage, and not to exceed a duration of 12 weeks in a 52 calendar week period.
The statewide average weekly wage may change annually as determined by the state.
Life and Disability products underwritten by UniCare Life & Health Insurance Company.  ® Registered mark and SM service mark of WellPoint, Inc.