Privatizing coverage through the Massachusetts State Family Medical Leave Act puts money in the pockets of Massachusetts business owners
Business owners who want to privatize paid family medical leave in Massachusetts have until October 1, 2020, to make their decision. The DBL Center has more than 40 years experience in the statutory benefits markets in New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii.
As statutory benefits expand across New England, The DBL Center is available to help Massachusetts business owners save money. The DBL Center can write privatized policies with top insurance carriers, delivering cost savings and benefits equal to or greater than those underwritten through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Business owners must pay PFML premiums on policies written by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by October 1, 2020. But Massachusetts business owners who privatize paid family medical leave can defer MA PFML premiums for 2020 until January 1, 2021.
Deferring premiums on statutory PFML in Massachusetts helps free up cash for other expenses and leaves more money in employee’s paychecks.
Paid family leave benefits allow employees to care for:
Beginning July 1, 2021, PFML in MA will also cover time off to care for any family member with a serious health condition.
Privatized paid family and medical leave plans in Massachusetts must provide benefits equal to or better than the state plan.
“Massachusetts business owners who write their PFML policies with The DBL Center will save money and also benefit from the white-glove service we’ve delivered to our customers for decades,” says Michael Cohen, DBL Center president and CEO.
About The DBL Center Ltd.
With 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 DBL, PFL, TDB, TDI, and PFML in Massachusetts and Connecticut. For more information, visit InsuranceWholesaler.net, call 800.325.2777 or connect with us on LinkedIn.
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by Michael Cohen
Prior to the MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act, short-term disability benefits provided partial income replacement for non-work-related illnesses or injuries in Massachusetts.
With MA PFMLA benefits going into effect on January 1, 2021, (and additional benefits beginning July 1, 2021), Massachusetts business owners may wonder if they still need to offer group STD to employees.
The DBL Center, a wholesale insurance general agency specializing in statutory benefits, recently shared details on why Massachusetts business owners should supplement MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act benefits with Group STD.
Employers in Massachusetts must provide statutory PFML coverage. Businesses over 25 employees can write their benefits plan through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or choose a private plan that:
In 2021, the MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act will compensate workers for up to 20 weeks of personal medical leave. However, if the worker already filed a personal or family leave claim within the past calendar year, they may not be able to collect for the full 20 weeks.
On the other hand, employees can collect STD income replacement for up to 26 weeks, regardless of other claims.
Long-term disability insurance typically goes into effect 26 weeks after an employee becomes disabled. STD provides income replacement for those six weeks (or more) once PFML runs out, before LTD begins.
Better benefits help reduce employee stress and improve retention rates within a company. Combining PFML with Group STD and the best long-term disability insurance , plus ancillary benefits like dental, vision, and Group Life AD&D can set a Massachusetts business apart.
With 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. For more information, visit InsuranceWholesaler.net, call 800.325.2777 or connect with us on LinkedIn.
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The DBL Center, a wholesale insurance general agency specializing in statutory benefits, recently posted a summary of statutory disability and paid family and medical leave plans across the United States. Visit InsuranceWholesaler.net to find out what states are on the list.
“Most people don’t realize this, but 37 states threw their hats in the ring this past election to pass Paid Family Leave acts on a state level,” said The DBL Center President and CEO Michael Cohen. “This is a growing legislation that may ultimately become federal, like the Family Medical Leave Act, which offers unpaid job protection for those who are out of work due to illness or to care for family members.”
Moving into 2021, nine states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico offer statutory disability plans to employees. Of those states, only Hawaii, New Jersey, and New York provide options to privatize statutory disability through an independent insurance carrier.
California, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island offer Paid Family Leave as subsets of statutory disability plans. For instance, PFL in New York is written as a rider to DBL coverage.
In New Jersey, Family Leave Insurance is included automatically with TDB premiums. In Massachusetts and Connecticut, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act covers both family leave and medical leave. It can be written through the state or through a private insurance carrier. Private plans typically offer faster, more flexible payout options and personalized service.
As more states add paid family and medical leave benefits to their statutory disability programs, business owners enter uncharted territory. Reputable insurance brokers can provide the education and guidance business owners need to select the right plans.
“It’s important for business owners to understand the tremendous advantages of writing their coverage with a top-rated carrier rather than going settling for what their state offers,” Cohen says. “Private plans can provide better service, faster claims, flexible payout options, and costs savings over state plans.”
Get a free demo of the Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker today
The DBL Center, a wholesale general agency, has been breaking new ground when it comes to providing superior customer service and a tech-forward approach to statutory disability sales for insurance brokers.
The Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker software-as-a-service enables brokers to:
The dashboard provides brokers with everything they need from an account management basis to compare premiums and bind policies easily from anywhere they happen to be.
Accessible from mobile phone, PC, or desktop computer, the Broker Dashboard was met with accolades from brokers as a great way to stay on top of renewals and cancellations and to manage their business from anywhere.
Broker Dashboard Increases Functionality and Adds New Features with iOS App
In September 2020, nearly 3 years from the date of its launch, the Broker Dashboard got its own app in the Apple App store. Available for iOS users (iPhone and iPad mobile devices) the app brings all the functionality of the Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker SaaS to any iOS mobile device.
User-friendly and intuitive, the app is the future of statutory disability insurance in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts – and beyond.
The DBL Center is offering brokers a free live demo of the Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker and its new features. Brokers who take advantage of the demo will receive free access to the Broker Dashboard for all their accounts.
The statutory insurance business is built on return customers and repetitive commissions. “As my father and DBL Center founder David Cohen used to say, ‘It’s not what you earn, it’s what you keep.’ In these challenging times, The DBL Center helps brokers retain more of their business for greater profitability,” says DBL Center CEO Michael Cohen.
Schedule a Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker live demo today.
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The DBL Center, a statutory insurance wholesaler with more than 40 years of experience, continues to lead the statutory insurance industry with cutting-edge technology. This week, The DBL Center launched the Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker app in the App Store for iPhone and iPad users. The launch of the app enables brokers to work from anywhere while providing superior levels of customer service to their clients.
Already garnering five-star ratings and close to 200 downloads, the app is patterned after The DBL Center’s proprietary Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker cloud-based software solution for statutory insurance brokers across the northeast and beyond.
Offering all the functionality of the Broker Dashboard desktop application, the Broker Dashboard app for iPhone and iPad puts the capability to track renewals, cancellations, and commissions at broker’s fingertips.
The DBL Center also recently released a video detailing the capabilities of the Broker Dashboard software.
DBL Center: Helping Brokers Embrace Change
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, studies show approximately 62 to 64% of U.S. employees shifted to remote work. Experts predict the trend to continue even after the pandemic ends. Through technology, resilience, and understanding, the statutory insurance industry can embrace this change and take the opportunity to be able to deliver even higher levels of service to business owners.
“If you run an insurance agency, it’s more important than ever to be able to manage a remote workforce and give your producers the tools they need to do their jobs – in their office or at home,” says DBL Center President and CEO Michael Cohen. “With the Broker Dashboard app for iPhone and iPad, the tools brokers need are just a touch away.”
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Massachusetts becomes the fourth state in the Northeast to mandate benefits under a paid family and medical leave act
DBL Center, the family-owned and operated wholesale insurance general agency specializing in statutory short-term disability benefits, is ready to offer Massachusetts insurance brokers and business owners incredible savings on PFML plans under the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.
The MA Paid Family and Medical Leave Act applies to individuals who need time off:
Privatize Massachusetts Family and Medical Leave Act Coverage for Competitive Benefits at Lower Rates
As in New York and New Jersey, states which have offered short-term disability and paid family leave for several years, business owners in Massachusetts have the option to privatize their FMLA policies for substantial cost reductions.
By law, private FMLA plans must offer benefits of the same amount and duration – or better – than plans underwritten and paid for by the state. That’s why it’s important for business owners to find a source they can trust to write their family and medical leave act coverage in Massachusetts.
Bundle PFML to Save Even More
PFML is a stand-alone benefit, but not every carrier can write PFML as a stand-alone policy. DBL Center has the industry connections and the volume to write PFML direct to businesses or to act as an insurance wholesale general agency for Massachusetts brokers.
DBL Center delivers white-glove service, low premiums, and superior benefits packages. Businesses can save even more by bundling FMLA coverage with group ancillary benefits like dental, vision, and group life / AD&D.
DBL Center Enhances Focuses on Customer Service and Technology
As testament to the company’s dedication to customer service and education, DBL Center recently launched a Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act Resource Center on its website.
DBL Center also recently introduced 24/7 live chat on its website. Simply type in the chat box and a knowledgeable representative will answer your questions about the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Act, short- or long-term disability insurance, and group ancillary benefits.
“Massachusetts in the fourth state in our region to introduce paid family leave. As experts in short-term disability and paid family leave in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, DBL Center is poised to become the number one source for brokers and business owners, alike, to privatize PFML in Massachusetts for cost-savings and exemplary customer service,” says DBL Center President and CEO Michael Cohen. “We want anyone in Massachusetts affected by the law to know they can come to us with questions, for guidance, or to write their policies at substantial savings compared to the state plan.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
July 1, 2020 marks the first deadline for payments.
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.
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.
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.”
Cloud-based Broker Dashboard and other tools help keep The DBL Center in touch with its brokers and help brokers serve their clients
Things are changing rapidly across the U.S. with new legislation related to family leave for coronavirus. DBL Center, the family-owned and operated wholesale insurance general agency specializing in statutory short-term disability benefits, strives to be a COVID-19 insurance resource center in New York and across the northeast U.S., providing customers with personalized service and cutting-edge technology.
Even before the coronavirus hit the U.S., The DBL Center had been on top of remote technology that makes it easier for brokers to write new business and manage their accounts from any internet-enabled device.
For brokers looking to provide the lowest premiums and best service to their business customers while increasing profitability, The DBL Center provides the technology and resources needed to write state-mandated disability coverage in New York, New Jersey, and beyond. But there are some things brokers may not know about The DBL Center.
Most insurance brokers are now working remotely as part of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders from the governors in their states.
As a cloud-based app, DBL Center’s Broker Dashboard makes it easy for insurance brokers to log in from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. When brokers bind new policies in real time through the DBL Center website, those accounts link automatically to their personalized Broker Dashboard.
“The Broker Dashboard has become an essential tool during the pandemic, enabling brokers to continue to bind policies and manage accounts while they practice social distancing and work from home,” says DBL Center President Michael Cohen.
Reports are automatically emailed on the first and 15th of every month, enabling brokers to provide their customers with proactive service.
Pandemic or not, DBL Center is standing by to answer questions related to PFL and DBL claims, statutory disability policies, and more. Start a chat at any time, from any page of the DBL Center website.
4. DBL Center has expanded its offerings from NY, NJ and Hawaii into Massachusetts as a result of new Paid Family Leave policies.
DBL Center’s home state of New York set the precedent for generous Paid Family Leave policies three years ago and DBL Center was at the forefront of helping brokers transition to DBL policies with PFL riders. Now, DBL Center can help Massachusetts brokers write Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage, too.
DBL Center recently launched a COVID-19 resource center for brokers writing DBL and PFL in New York.
“We were one of the first in our industry to report on the federal Families First Act and how it will affect insurance claims. We are working virtually round-the-clock to provide updated news and information as it happens,” Cohen says.
Coming soon, DBL Center will launch a pre-screening form to help brokers and business owners determine who is eligible for PFL in New York and who should be applying for aid through the Families First Act or filing for unemployment.
David Cohen started The DBL Center in 1976 based on a business model that followed the boutique hotels he loved to visit on vacations, delivering white-glove, concierge-level service to brokers in a way that was unprecedented at the time.
Michael Cohen took over as President and CEO after his father’s passing. David Cohen’s legacy lives on in the creativity, vibrancy, and innovation Michael Cohen brings to the company. DBL Center continues to deliver the same level of customer service as it always has, leveraging carrier relationships and cutting-edge technology to provide brokers with the lowest premiums available and the highest levels of service.
DBL Center helps its brokers support their clients through this difficult time
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, business owners and employees in New York and New Jersey have many questions about short-term disability and paid family leave coverage. DBL Center, the family-owned and operated wholesale insurance general agency specializing in statutory short-term disability benefits, is here to answer questions and supply its insurance brokers with the information they need to help business owners and benefits managers across the region.
Common Questions about Short Term Disability and COVID-19
In this tumultuous time, employers and employees may wonder:
DBL Center, its network of brokers, and its trusted carriers, are working hard to provide timely answers to these questions and many others.
To better serve their customers, DBL Center brokers can reach a knowledgeable DBL Center representative at any time, 24/7, through the company’s new chat feature on its website.
Coronavirus and Short-term Disability Policies: What You Need to Know
Right now, a coronavirus diagnosis or quarantine does not constitute automatic approval of a short-term disability claim in New York or New Jersey. Some policies from certain carriers, however, may carry quarantine provisions.
If an employee is sick and unable to work due to COVID-19, these claims will be determined on a case by case basis, depending on the severity and length of the illness. Some cases requiring hospitalization may qualify for short-term disability in New York and New Jersey.
Claims submitted with a diagnosis of coronavirus will be evaluated based on all applicable contract provisions. The insured will need to provide proof that they are under the care of a Health Care Provider that can certify the disability and that the employee is unable to perform their job duties either in the workplace or via remote access.
PFL and the Coronavirus
New York State PFL claims for paid time off to care for children over a year old who are home from school because their school closed may be denied. If a child is diagnosed with COVID-19, PFL claims would be determined on an individual basis, depending on the severity of the illness.
Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In an attempt to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus, we understand that many P&C brokers who manage disability policies will be working remotely. DBL Center is here to support these brokers online and by phone.
“Our brokers have the ability to Bind DBL policies UNDER 50 lives from any internet-enabled computer, whether at home or in the office in order to keep the economy moving,” says Michael S. Cohen, DBL Center President and CEO. “Our exclusive Broker Dashboard gives our brokers access to all their policies and preferred carriers from any internet-enabled device, as well. During these challenging times, we will do everything we can to help our brokers support the businesses they serve with the information they need. We feel it’s important for everyone to work together as we face this unprecedented situation.”