The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that enables eligible employees to take extended time off from work for personal or familial medical needs. The FMLA establishes a twelve-week timeline for parents to return to work due to extended medical leave but has some restrictions. The FMLA only covers unpaid leave and is not available for employees of small companies.

Many working parents combine sick leave and vacation time during this period to ensure a steady income while they focus on caring for a newborn and heal from delivery. Many parents are also using short-term disability (STD) to cover pregnancy.

Coverage of short-term disability

STD plans cover a portion of one’s income for the duration that they are out of work. Many employers and states offer these plans. Employers may cover the cost entirely, while state-run programs generally take a share of one’s paycheck. Individual policies, while more expensive, can provide additional coverage options suited to specific needs.

STD covers wages missed due to injury or illness, and most often includes pregnancy. STD can pay anywhere from 50 to 100% of lost wages and may last up to two years. Pregnancy claims usually have a limited term of six weeks, but many insurance companies can extend those terms if complications arise.

Colorado does not have any laws regulating time-off terms for pregnancies, but many states do. Colorado also does not require employers to offer STD coverage. Most Colorado residents looking for disability insurance find success in purchasing a plan through a private firm.

Secure comprehensive protection

When choosing STD coverage, timing is essential. Many programs don’t kick in until a policy-holder goes a week without work. Colorado parents may benefit from family planning that includes securing disability coverage early — some companies consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition. Though the Affordable Care Act protects many from coverage denial for health insurance, no such federal laws police disability insurance.

Those planning a new addition to their family have many pressing concerns. Hiring the services of a local lawyer to review a disability claim can help alleviate that stress, navigate the fine print of an insurance policy and help secure coverage.