Colorado FAMLI: An Insurance Broker’s Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

The trend of bleisure, blending business and leisure while you’re away, is on the rise. One recent statistic found that 60% of all long-distance business trips in the U.S. turn into bleisure trips.

When we’re not setting trends in the insurance industry here at DBL Center, we’re always willing to hop on trends that mean more flexibility, fun, and inspiration. So, when I visited Colorado recently to meet with insurance brokers and help them understand the new Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, FAMLI, I decided to bring along my wife and spend some time sightseeing and reconnecting with nature.

What I called the Colorado Paid Family Leave tour brought us from Denver to Vail. I enjoyed the time on the trails and in some of Denver’s finest restaurants with my wife. We pushed outside our physical comfort zones on hikes through the Rockies.

Then I took time to help Colorado insurance brokers get comfortable with the new statutory benefits in their state. I was encouraged by the response and warm welcome I received from Colorado brokers.

DBL Center: Paving the Way for Paid Leave Across the U.S.

When New York rolled out its Paid Family Leave program in 2017, The DBL Center led the way to help companies across the state write these benefits through private carriers. We helped our brokers save their clients money by bundling ancillary benefits with enriched DBL to create a comprehensive benefits package for employees.

The introduction of Colorado FAMLI, the paid family and medical leave insurance program for the state of Colorado, goes into effect January 1, 2022. For statutory insurance brokers, this represents an opportunity that’s growing increasingly common as paid family leave programs spread across the U.S.

But it helps if brokers understand the nuances of writing paid family and medical leave packages and the various ways they can save their clients can save money with private plans. That’s where the DBL Center staff comes in. We are your insurance wholesaler to help you manage paid leave policies, as well as ancillary benefits.

Why Your Customers Should Privatize FAMLI

Privatizing FAMLI is a smart move. Companies who privatize paid leave in other states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, get:

  • Better service
  • Faster, flexible payouts
  • Cost-saving opportunities

As a Colorado broker, when your clients privatize FAMLI and you rely on The DBL Center, your insurance wholesaler, to manage and administrate the benefits, you can take advantage of generous commissions. Keep in mind, FAMLI is a statutory benefit. Business owners need to provide this benefit to their employees on a cost-shared basis through payroll deductions.

Note that businesses under 10 lives must still provide the benefit, but employers do not have to cover the premiums. Workers cover their portion of the premium through payroll deductions and the state covers the rest.

Since the benefit is mandatory for all businesses in the state, it’s just up to the brokers to show Colorado business owners the advantages of writing a private policy. Annual renewals should be simple, and The DBL Center’s Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker will make it easy for you to track cancellations, renewals and – most importantly – your commissions as they continue to grow.

Help Your Clients Privatize FAMLI Now for a One-Time Savings Opportunity

That’s because the state is requiring contributions to the state insurance fund to be paid January 1, 2023. Except if you write the plan through a private carrier. Then your clients can pay q- uarterly, just as they will for subsequent years of coverage.
This is the only time Colorado business owners will have this opportunity for cost-savings. And you can begin quoting policies now.

The DBL Center is here to help. We blazed this trail in New York and, today, we’re helping brokers across the New England states increase commissions and build client loyalty and relationships. That’s what this industry is about – building relationships to help brokers usher in a new era of benefits.

The commissions Colorado brokers can discover through privatizing statutory benefits and bundling them with ancillary benefits and voluntary worksite benefits could be the true pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

 


Colorado FAMLI Provides Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits to Employees

Beginning January 1, 2024, Colorado workers gain access to paid family leave to take care of their own medical conditions or a loved one.


As major tech companies, including Twitter, Airbnb, DoorDash, and Reddit, advocate for federal paid family leave programs, more states are enacting legislation of their own.

Colorado recently joined New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California with a paid family and medical leave program. Called Colorado FAMLI (Family and Medical Leave Insurance), the program will provide benefits to employees to take time off to care for themselves or a loved one who meets certain criteria.

In line with programs in other states, Colorado workers can file for FAMLI to:

  • Care for a new child within the first year of birth, fostering, or adoption,
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Heal from or take care of a serious health condition of their own
  • Make arrangements for a family member’s military deployment
  • Address immediate safety needs and life changes following domestic violence or sexual assault.

Eligible employees can claim up to 12 weeks of leave per year, according to the website famli.colorado.gov. Parents who experience pregnancy or childbirth complications may qualify for an additional four weeks of recovery time.

Colorado FAMLI Benefits and Premiums

The state of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment provides a benefits and premium calculator for employers and employees here.

Benefits range from 37% to 90% of an employee’s weekly wage, depending on the employee’s income. Benefits max out at $1,100 weekly or $13,200 annually for employees in the top tier, who normally gross $2,000 or more per week.

What Colorado Business Owners Need to Know About the FAMLI Program

According to a Fact Sheet issued by the CDLE, every employer must offer the benefit to their workers. Organizations with their own paid leave program in place can apply for an exemption.

Premiums equal 0.9% of an employee’s wage. Employers with 10 or more employees must pay at least half the premium due, or 0.45%, with the other half coming from employee payroll deductions. Employers will also have the option of paying the full amount of the benefit as an added perk and employee retention tool.

Employers with fewer than 10 employees do not have to contribute to the program but are responsible for remitting the employee’s share (0.45%) quarterly with money collected through payroll deductions.

The legislation goes into full effect on January 1, 2024, when employees can make claims and begin collecting benefits. Employers will need to begin submitted premiums to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment by January 1, 2023.

Insurance Brokers Who Sell These Benefits in Other States Should Get Ready

Specific details regarding carriers and self-insured options are not yet available.

Insurance brokers who already provide private DBL, TDB, or FMLA coverage in other states may want to start thinking about covering Colorado businesses and their employees, as well. Colorado business owners will be looking for brokers with knowledge, expertise, and a network of carriers who understand these complex benefits.

The CDLE recommends that Colorado business owners begin communicating with employees in Fall 2022 to prepare them for the payroll deductions and upcoming benefits. Internal communications such as employee handbooks should be updated with relevant information as it becomes available. By Fall 2023, the CDLE says Colorado business owners should have “clear guidance and communications to employees around FAMLI benefits.”

Insurance brokers who have helped employers implement successful PFL and FMLA programs in other states by providing them with affordable benefits and packages that bundle ancillary benefits with paid family leave have unique opportunities in Colorado. To set the stage for success, you can:

  • Begin collecting testimonials from clients in other states with similar programs,
  • Begin building relationships with Colorado business owners,
  • Prepare social media campaigns and other marketing efforts and paid ad campaigns directed to Colorado business owners.

Finally, stay tuned to The DBL Center news section to read about breaking developments in Colorado FAMLI.