NYS PFL rate and benefit increase goes into effect January 1, 2021As per the original legislation for the NYS Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, New York has announced a rate change and benefit increase for NYS PFL to go into effect January 1, 2021.
Beginning in 2021, employees can collect up to $971.61 through NYS PFL benefits. This increase completes the phased introduction of the Paid Family Medical Leave in New York that took place over the past three years.
In accordance with the rate increase comes a premium increase of 87% – from 27 cents to 51 cents. Out of that total rate, .005% is to fund the PFL quarantine payments.
First introduced in 2017 as a mandatory benefit written as a rider to statutory short-term disability in NY, Paid Family Leave in NY will be fully phased in by January 1, 2021. At that time, the benefit will provide 67% of an employee’s Average Weekly Wage (up to the NYS PFL maximum amount) for up to 12 weeks to:
• Bond with a newborn, adopted or foster care child joining their family in the past 12 months • Care for a seriously ill family member • Manage the home while a spouse is deployed
Brokers can use our handy PFL calculator in our Paid Family Leave Resource Center to determine their customers’ premium payments.
It’s important to understand that employees cannot claim NYS PFL for coronavirus. If schools close again in the fall, leaving parents with few childcare options, they cannot claim NYS PFL for coronavirus to stay home with their children. However, the Families First Act for pandemic may entitle employees to certain benefits if they are unable to work due to school closures because of an outbreak or because of quarantine measures.
According to the Department of Labor, covered employees may receive:
• Two weeks paid sick leave at the employee’s regular pay rate if they are quarantined or experiencing coronavirus symptoms • Two weeks paid sick leave at 2/3 pay to care for a person who is quarantined or to care for children under 18 whose school or childcare provider is closed due to coronavirus • Up to 10 weeks paid expanded family and medical leave in New York at 2/3 the employee’s regular pay to care for a child whose school or childcare provider has closed due to the pandemic. For an employee to qualify for extended leave, they must have 30 calendar days of employment on record.
To help mitigate unauthorized PFL claims, The DBL Center has introduced a Covid-19 claims pre-screening software for carriers.
The rate increase for NYS PFL puts an even wider gap between disability insurance in NY payments and PFL rates. As you notice your customers about the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act increase, it’s a great time to remind them to enrich DBL coverage for:
• Faster, more flexible payouts • Increased benefits • Additional in-hospital coverage as an option
The NYS DBL rate remains at just a $170 per week for 26 weeks. Enriched DBL can offer up to 60% salary replacement, with weekly maximums between $200 and $850. Plus, you’ll get the service you expect from The DBL Center and access to our Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker to manage your accounts seamlessly from anywhere you might be working.
If you or your customers have any questions regarding the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act – New York premium and rate increase, reach out today. In these uncertain times, The DBL Center is here to help you navigate PFL claims in NY, retain customers, and increase commissions.
by Michael Cohen
The CT Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) provides “covered” employees in Connecticut access to paid leave for life events covered under:
Covered employee means a worker who is currently employed, has been employed within the last 12 weeks, self-employed, a sole proprietor, or a Connecticut resident enrolled in the PFML program. The employees are eligible for benefits under PFML if:
There are many health needs covered under the PFML, allowing employees to take leave without worrying about lost income.
All employers with one or more employees are covered under the PFML law. The law also provides employers with the tools and resources to comply with the applicable laws and promote a happy, healthy, and positive workplace.
Role of Employers
Employers in the State of Connecticut play a crucial role in helping workers access to paid time off to meet their various personal and family health needs under the Paid Family and Medical Leave law. They have to:
Choose a Private Plan to Save Big on Premiums & Get Better Services
Employers can say no to a state PFML plan and instead, go for a private plan to take advantage of various benefits, such as faster underwriting, better service, lower premiums, and more savings. The option also allows you to get access to and choose from a wide range of insurance carriers. Let DBL Center Ltd write your Paid Family and Medical Leave plan in Connecticut today and uncover new possibilities!
Insurance brokers across Massachusetts have an opportunity to increase their commissions and better serve Massachusetts business owners through the Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Act.
By helping your customers privatize Massachusetts PFML before October 1, you can offer premium discounts plus defer fourth quarter premium payments until January 1, 2020.
Here’s what you need to know about the important October 1, 2020 deadline approaching for business owners who want to write privatized paid family medical leave in Massachusetts.
Business owners must pay PFML premiums on policies written by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by October 1, 2020. As we still battle the pandemic, many business owners continue to struggle with revenue, paying rent, or even making payroll. Some companies remain closed or at half-capacity right now. If there was ever a time to defer a mandatory expense, it’s now.
If your customers privatize Massachusetts PFML now, they don’t have to deduct payroll taxes for MA PFML premiums for 2020 until January 1, 2021.
Combined with the Paycheck Protection Program portion of the CARES Act, which permits business owners to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s portion of Social Security taxes through December 31, 2020, this deferment can help free up cash for Massachusetts business owners at a time they need it most.
With no signature requirements or red tape, applying for a private plan exemption in Massachusetts is easy. As a broker, you can:
But only if you act now. After January 1, 2021, brokers can still write a private plan with faster, more flexible payments and better service. But premium rates will be the same as the state plan.
As Kelvin Joseph of Kool Kel Marketing stated in a recent interview, “Right now, businesses are looking to increase their revenue and reduce their expenses. [DBL Center] has a way to save people money.”
As a DBL Center broker, you can take advantage of our industry knowledge, connections, and relationships with top-rated carriers to save your customers money while providing superior service with DBL Center as your back-office staff.
As in New York and New Jersey, Paid Family and Medical Leave plans in Massachusetts must provide benefits equal to or better than the state plan. If you could get the same (or better) product at the same (or lower) price, wouldn’t you?
It makes switching to a private plan a no-brainer, especially with The DBL Center here to help your customers get the lowest premiums available.
As of January 1, 2021, Massachusetts will join New York to offer paid family leave benefits for employees to care for:
Beginnning July 1, 2021, PFML in MA will also cover time off to care for any family member with a serious health condition.
For brokers across the New England region, working with The DBL Center offers many advantages to help you provide outstanding service to your customers as they navigate the confusing terrain of the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.
We act as your back office staff to manage policies, collect premiums, and even track down late payments for you.
Our Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker provides all the information you need to manage your business, giving you access to renewals, cancellations, and commissions at a glance.
Massachusetts business owners may not want to think about another mandatory expense during the pandemic. They need brokers like you on their side to help them save money and receive the superior service they deserve. Reach out to The DBL Center today to help your customers privatize state mandated benefits under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.
Insurance brokers know that DBL stands for “Disability Benefits Law,” which provides statutory New York State short term disability insurance to qualifying workers through employer-funded benefits packages.
But here at DBL Center, we love a good play on words. We want to remind our brokers that this year, more than ever, the “DBL” in DBL Center stands for “Don’t be late.” That is, don’t be late with your NY disability insurance premiums and delay your incoming commissions because clients haven’t remitted premiums on time.
Across New York, businesses have closed as a result of the pandemic. From mom-and-pop boutiques, to law firms, restaurants, gyms, and even larger companies, New York business owners felt the crush of the quarantine, followed by re-opening regulations, and a public that is wary of leaving their homes or spending money.
As we continue to struggle with these challenges, one thing insurance brokers shouldn’t have to worry about is whether or not their clients still in business have paid their premiums.
Yet, it’s a fact of life. Brokers face cancellations due to non-pays, client bookkeeping errors, and other lapses that can delay your commissions.
Even in the best of times, you don’t want to have to waste time chasing down clients. The Covid-19 pandemic complicated it further, because you don’t know who:
• Went out of business • Doesn’t have the money to pay • Received a PPP loan but perhaps thought premiums were yet another bill waived due to the pandemic • Put their statutory DBL last on the list of payments to make, after paying the lease and keeping the lights on
Whatever your client’s situation, if they have an in-force NYS DBL policy or enriched DBL, they owe the premium amount due – and you deserve your commission.
DBL Center is here to remind your customers “don’t be late,” on their DBL payments. Through our powerful Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker, we can track renewals, cancellations, and non-pays.
Then we send those emails and make those uncomfortable calls reminding your clients their New York state DBL payment is due. We use the utmost tact, and will get that bill paid so you can collect your commission.
And if a company has gone out of business? We’ll adjust the Broker Dashboard records to reflect that. No more wasted time on out-of-business companies.
Many customers might have NYS DBL premium payments due, but not understand the amount owed due to a change in their overall employee head count. If their bill does not reflect the new number of lives, reflective of layoffs or furloughs that occurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ll recalculate the total amount due.
And, again, get that bill paid so you can collect your commission.
When you help your clients purchase NY disability insurance through The DBL Center, we serve as your back-office staff to manage your accounts. That frees you up to do what you do best, which is sell insurance – even in a struggling economy.
With access to our Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker, you’ll always know what you’re earning at a glance. You can track accounts ready for renewal, cancellations, and commissions. The Broker Dashboard helps you stay on top of it all – and The DBL Center team is here to help you manage it.
As I stated in my last video interview, the year is more than half over. Halloween is just around the corner and before you know it, we’ll all be closing the books on 2020 and hoping for better things ahead.
Now is the time to start planning for 2021. What will your book of business look like? Are you putting the time into sales or hunting down premium payments? Let us help so we can all look forward to a better future.
We’re living in unprecedented times and federal, state, and local governments are looking for ways to adapt. Seeking a balance between regulations and budget, legislation has sought to help Americans keep their businesses open and their employees paid through the vast challenges 2020 has brought us.
Most business owners in New York, along with insurance brokers and other professionals, have concerns about keeping our economy going. Increasing NY disability insurance rates for statutory DBL coverage might be the last thing on people’s minds. But it’s something those of us in the insurance industry should be thinking about.
NY State Disability Insurance benefits, or DBL, has not increased in decades. With a maximum payout of $170 per week, NYS DBL lags behind New Jersey TDB benefits, and even Massachusetts and Connecticut. The latter two states recently introduced statutory paid leave for non-work related illness or injury.
The last thing New York business owners would want to face right now is a premium increase for any benefits. Many New York City landmarks have shuttered as a result of recent events, and mom-and-pop shops in Main Street areas across upstate and downstate New York have closed permanently or struggle to stay alive.
But an increase in NY state disability insurance pay-outs could yield benefits to employers in the long run, especially as we face uncertainty related to the pandemic. Will DBL claims rise if we see a second wave of the virus? Will the government be so quick to offer Federal aid packages the second time around? Will businesses, already hard hit by recent events, be able to mount a second comeback? No one knows the answers to these questions.
When the first wave of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, hit, the Federal government intervened with the Families First Act. The FFA alleviated much of the pressure on insurance carriers who otherwise would have faced unprecedented levels of claims because of COVID-19.
Here at The DBL Center, we also sprung to action. Our COVID-19 pre-screening software helped eliminate confusion regarding NY State Disability Insurance claims and FFA claims.
If the Federal government had not signed the FFA to help Americans with income replacement if they became ill from COVID-19 or had to care for family members with the virus, disability insurance carriers and brokers may have experienced a situation similar to what P&C brokers in the northeast experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Business owners and the insurance industry, alike, were not set up to respond to an emergency of this scale. Our country was not prepared; but perhaps there is no effective way to prepare for a global pandemic.
Many people reading this, even our brokers who are tapped into the industry, don’t realize that the governor initially had plans to increase DBL benefits when he introduced Paid Family Leave. A short-term disability insurance increase was in the original legislation, but removed before the Paid Family Leave Act was signed.
Increasing NY state disability insurance benefits will help business owners retain high-quality talent, which is a challenge in any economy. New York City, especially, is suffering from “brain drain,” or young, smart, and affluent couples leaving the city. Reports say five percent of Manhattan’s population fled the city between March 1 and May 1 at the height of the pandemic. Further, 69% of tech and finance employees said they would leave New York if they could work from home.
This exodus began years prior to the pandemic because of real estate prices, but was exacerbated this spring.
No, increased DBL may not tip the scales, but having peace-of-mind that you can survive on your disability insurance benefits should you become ill with coronavirus could give many New Yorkers one less reason to leave. Couple that with the most robust PFL policy in the nation, and New York becomes a more family-friendly state.
It’s a good time to make legislation changes right now. New Yorkers have become accustomed to rapid change and increased benefits, including the $600 Federal boost in unemployment benefits.
As always, because it is a shared benefit, DBL represents one way business owners can provide added value to their top employees at a small cost.
Until the time comes that NY State disability insurance benefits rise, business owners can purchase private disability insurance in New York. DBL Center brokers can offer their customers increased benefits through enriched DBL, white-glove service, and faster, more flexible payouts.
What do you think? Is it time for NY to increase their disability insurance benefits?
The DBL Center, a wholesale general agency with 40+ years of insurance industry relationships, wants to help New Jersey business owners privatize NJ temporary disability insurance for possible cost savings and white-glove service.
Privatized NJ temporary disability insurance offers businesses:
By law, premiums must be the same or lower than NJ temporary disability insurance written through the state. Private New Jersey TDB benefits must be the same as – or better – than those offered by the state.
Premiums for NJ Temporary Disability Insurance Increase
New Jersey has a robust disability benefits package. In January 2020, New Jersey TDB payouts increased to 66.67% of a worker’s average weekly salary, up to $667 per week. As of July 1, 2020, the benefit grows to 85% of a worker’s average weekly salary, capped at $881 per week.
With these benefit increases come a change in premium payments, too.
Employees now contribute .26% on the first $134,900 of earnings, with a maximum annual contribution of $350.74. Employers contribute based on employees’ earnings, with a cap of $35,000.
Is It Time for Business Owners to Privatize New Jersey TDB?
June 30, 2020 represents the next deadline to privatize New Jersey TDB.
Working through The DBL Center’s vast network of brokers, businesses can write privatized New Jersey TDB policies in three simple steps.
1. Obtain form AC-174.
Insurance brokers can no longer download the AC-174 form for their customers. Employers must visit the New Jersey Department of Labor website and fill out the Employer Application.
2. The DBL Center works with brokers to shop policies through a network of top-rated carriers.
The DBL Center does all the work from here. “We leverage our industry relationships and volume to find the lowest premiums. Many of our brokers save even more for their customers by bundling New Jersey TDB with ancillary benefits like vision, dental, and life insurance,” says DBL Center President and CEO Michael Cohen.
3 Enjoy exemplary service with privatized NJ temporary disability benefits (TDB).
DBL Center provides its New Jersey TDB brokers with the tools, resources, and relationships to deliver low rates, exemplary service, and benefits business owners can trust.
“The world seems to be changing here in the Northeast U.S. every day,” says Cohen. “The service New Jersey business owners receive from The DBL Center and our network of broker partners is one thing they can always count on.”
About The DBL Center Ltd.
Celebrating 40+ years in the insurance industry, The DBL Center services 100,000 insured corporations through 4,000 brokers across 15 states as a wholesale insurance general agency. The DBL Center specializes in Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and PFL (Paid Family Leave) coverage in New York, Temporary Disability Benefits (TDB) in New Jersey, and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) in Hawaii. The DBL Center also underwrites, manages and maintains Group Life/AD&D, vision, and dental packages, as well as individual life and income replacement policies, giving brokers and their customers the benefits of multi-line discounts and a single point-of-contact.
Through its dedication to personalized, concierge-level service, The DBL Center Ltd. remains true to its roots as a family- owned and operated, relationship-focused wholesale insurance agency.
InsuranceWholesaler.net is the company’s gateway to premium service, low insurance rates, and high commissions.
For more information, visit InsuranceWholesaler.net, call (631) 293.5100 or connect with us on LinkedIn.
As New York begins its phased reopening, many employers seek to call back workers on furlough or re-hire employees who have been laid off. Employers may also be looking for ways to reduce expenses as they come off possibly the roughest financial quarter New York businesses have faced in decades.
Now, more than ever, your clients are looking to save money and improve retention (or entice employees back to work). Enriching DBL benefits through private disability insurance in New York is one way your customers can:
The New York State Disability Benefits Law (DBL) gives employers the option to purchase NY state disability insurance through the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF). But writing policies through the NYSIF does not offer the advantages of private disability insurance. New York businesses who write DBL with the NYSIF max out coverage limits at $170 a week for 26 weeks. Who could live on that, especially in downstate New York?
When employers write NY Disability Benefits insurance through a private insurance carrier, they can enhance coverage limits past the state minimum, improve employee retention, and enjoy more personalized service. Additionally, DBL Center has relationships with multiple carriers, to offer a wide range of coverage options.
The DBL Center has been helping NY insurance brokers write private disability insurance in New York for more than 40 years. Our instant binding application helps you prepare quotes from multiple carriers in a matter of minutes.
You can bundle enriched NY state disability insurance (DBL) with ancillary benefits like vision, dental, and group life / AD&D for added savings. Plus, you’ll gain access to our state-of-the-art Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker, helping you keep sight of it all with just a click.
Compare rates, grow your book of business, and earn more commission while DBL Center serves as your back-office support staff to manage and maintain your policies.
Bind your application for NY disability insurance (DBL) today!
Have your customers privatized NJ temporary disability insurance for potential cost savings and superior customer service?
As we reported in October 2018, the State of New Jersey waived the signature requirement for business owners to obtain privatized New Jersey TDB coverage. This opened the door for brokers to write privatized NJ temporary disability insurance to provide customers with:
By law, premiums must be the same or lower than NJ temporary disability insurance written through the state. At the same time, benefits packages for New Jersey TDB must be the same as – or better – than state benefits.
New Jersey has always had a robust disability benefits package. In January 2020, New Jersey TDB payouts increased to 66.67% of a worker’s average weekly salary, up to $667 per week through June 30, 2020.
As of July 1, 2020, the benefit grows to 85% of a worker’s average weekly salary, capped at $881 per week.
Employees now contribute .26% on the first $134,900 of earnings, with a maximum annual contribution of $350.74. Employers have a different taxable wage base than employees. Employers contribute based on employees’ earnings, with a cap of $35,000.
If your customers have not privatized New Jersey TDB yet, now’s the time. The next deadline to shift policies from New Jersey TDB written by the state to a private plan takes place June 15, 2020.
We can make it easier than ever for you to help your clients privatize New Jersey TDB – and grow your book of business with a statutory benefit with automatic renewals.
Just follow this simple, three-step process.
1. Instruct your customers to obtain form AC-174.
Brokers can no longer download the AC-174 form for their customers, and your insurance wholesaler also can’t provide it for you. Employers first must visit the New Jersey Department of Labor website and fill out the Employer Application.
This form replaces the previous TWES form. If your customer has already registered, they can go here to log in. From either location, they can download the AC-174 form and fill it out.
The census can help you obtain an accurate quote so there are no surprises for your customer when premiums are due.
2. Provide the AC-174 to DBL Center so we can shop policies through our network of top-rated carriers.
The DBL Center does all the work for you from here. We will shop policies and leverage our industry relationships and volume to find the lowest premiums. You may find your customers can save even more by bundling New Jersey TDB with ancillary benefits like vision, dental, and life insurance.
3. Write the policy and track your commissions through our Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker.
Once we’ve secured the best coverage and lowest rates we can find for your clients, it will be an easy sell. After all, what business owner would want to pay more through the state and miss out on concierge-level service and faster payouts?
New Yorkers have benefited from private statutory benefits for years. It’s time New Jersey business owners enjoy the same flexibility and superior service they can get from The DBL Center and our dedicated New Jersey rep and brokers.
Let us help you write the policies for your New Jersey clients. You’ll gain access to our proprietary Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker, where you can track your commissions, renewals, and pending cancellations to improve customer retention. You’ll be able to view your book of business at a glance and access carrier portals with a click.
The world seems to be changing here in the Northeast U.S. every day. The service you receive from The DBL Center is one thing you can always count on.
Earlier this year, Massachusetts introduced the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) for W-2 employees as well as some 1099 independent contractors. Benefits won’t go into effect until 2021, but employers can begin paying into the plan now.
July 1, 2020 marks the first deadline for payments.
As a shared benefit, MA Family Medical Leave Act premium costs are split between the employer and employees or contractors. Organizations with fewer than 25 employees can offer the plan to their workers as a voluntary, employee-funded benefit.
The DBL Center can write FMLA policies independent of other lines, so you can privatize policies under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act affordably and provide your customers high levels of service.
With the first MA PFML payments coming up, your customers may wonder how much they owe for their plan, whether it’s funded by the state of Massachusetts or written privately.
Your premiums are based on the total number of your lives in your company, which includes all W-2 employees:
You do not need to count 1099 contractors, as they are responsible to write their own policies and pay the full 0.75% contribution.
When clients provide you with the active employee count and wages earned, they should report figures for the prior 3-month period. Contributions made by July 1, 2020 should include the total headcount from April, May, and June.
As COVID-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to strike across the U.S., many employers have laid off or furloughed workers. If furloughed employees or workers on unemployment have earned at least $4,700 in the prior 12 months before filing, they may be eligible to file a PFML claim in January if they meet all other requirements.
In most cases, employers would still pay into benefits packages for furloughed employees, so these workers would count toward the organization’s number of active lives. However, unemployed workers would not.
During the pandemic, many organizations laid off employees and then brought them back to meet the June 1 deadline for loan forgiveness on a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan issued as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Employees re-hired by June 1 would need to be counted as part of Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act premium payments.
With so many changes going on for business owners right now, calculating Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act premiums can be complicated. It depends on employers’ total lives for the past three months. These numbers may have varied wildly as employees were furloughed or laid off and then brought back as Massachusetts begins its phased reopening this week.
The DBL Center works with top Massachusetts statutory insurance carriers to provide the best service you’ll find. We’ll help you deliver the best rates and superior service to your customers with privatized Massachusetts PFML insurance policies.
Contact The DBL Center today.
As Massachusetts enters phased reopening, businesses get set to pay Family Medical Leave premiums
Earlier this year, Massachusetts introduced the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) for W-2 employees as well as some 1099 independent contractors. Benefits won’t go into effect until 2021, but employers can begin paying into the plan now.
Coming as it does on the heels of coronavirus reopenings across the state, the deadline may lead to some confusion for employers.
How Much Do Employers Need to Pay?
Statutory insurance brokers in Massachusetts who work with The DBL Center can write FMLA policies independent of other lines. Employers can privatize policies under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act affordably while receiving white-glove service.
With the first MA PFML payments coming up, business owners may wonder how much they owe for their plan, whether it’s funded by the state of Massachusetts or written privately. Amidst the confusion of reopening and re-hiring employees, businesses may need guidance when it comes to Massachusetts Family and Medical Leave Act premium payments.
Premiums are based on the total number of lives in a company, which includes all W-2 employees:
Independent contractors (1099 workers) are responsible to write their own policies and pay the full 0.75% contribution.
Businesses should report figures for the prior 3-month period. Contributions made by July 1, 2020 should include the total headcount from April, May, and June.
What About Furloughed Workers?
As COVID-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic struck across the U.S., many employers laid off or furloughed workers. If furloughed employees or workers on unemployment have earned at least $4,700 in the prior 12 months before filing, they may be eligible to file a PFML claim in January if they meet all other requirements.
Need Help Calculating Premiums for the Paid Family Medical Leave Act Coverage in Mass?
With so many changes going on for business owners right now, calculating Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act premiums can be complicated. It depends on employers’ total lives for the past three months. These numbers may have varied wildly as employees were furloughed or laid off and then brought back over the next few weeks. These employees count toward worker totals since they will be working in June.
“Here at The DBL Center, we’ve been experts in statutory insurance since 1976 when my father David Cohen started the company,” says Michael Cohen, DBL Center President and CEO. “With the tools, information, and resources we provide, our brokers are well equipped to deliver the best rates and superior service for privatized Massachusetts PFML insurance policies.”