In time for the original deadline of September 30, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Family & Medical Leave (DFML), has extended this date to the end of the year. In this post, we will take a closer look at what that means for employers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Here’s what you need to know, based on newly released guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Family & Medical Leave (DFML):
If you have an existing Private Plan Exemption
Existing Private Plan Exemptions have been extended to December 31, 2020.
Employers whose Private Plan Exemptions were set to expire by September 30, 2020, have had their renewals extended by 90 days, to December 31, 2020. The DFML advised renewals should not be filed prior to November 30, 2020, so you now have between November 30 and December 31, 2020, to file your update.
If your coverage will be through the same insurance carrier as issued on your Private Plan Exemption, simply take the following steps:
- Complete annual exemption application to the DFML. The application is available through MassTaxConnect.
- Obtain the Policy Form Number from your carrier to include on your Declaration
- Upload it on MassTaxConnect between November 30, 2020 – December 31, 2020
If you obtained a Private Plan Exemption from one carrier, but are getting your PFML coverage from a different carrier, here’s what you need to do:
- Complete exemption application to the DFML. The application is available through MassTaxConnect
- Get the Declaration of Insurance from your final, selected carrier with the Policy Form Number and upload it at MassTaxConnect between November 30, 2020-December 31, 2020. The Policy Form Number should be available by November 30, 2020 from your new carrier.
- Provide the 30-day notice of change in carrier to MA DOR via MassTaxConnect at the time of exemption application (on or after 11/30/20). You or your administrator can do this by going to: MassTaxConnect Homepage > Send e-message > Fill out form and subject name, message and relevant forms. Message should mention that you are switching carriers.
If you bind coverage with ShelterPoint before our Policy Form Number becomes available from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you will get an interim Declaration for your review only. We’ll provide an updated Declaration with Policy Form Number once it becomes available for you to upload to MassTax Connect
Exemption from Q4 contributions to the State Plan
If you haven’t locked in your Private Plan with your final, selected carrier yet, you have just a little time left to avoid making Q4 contributions to the State Plan: To take advantage of this, you need to have your coverage bound by a Private Plan carrier and your private plan exemption application approved by the DFML, no later than September 30, 2020.
If you don’t have an existing Private Plan Exemption - yet
The extension applies to existing exemptions only!
If you’re looking into Private Plans now but don’t have an exemption yet, first you will need to apply for private coverage with your selected carrier before filing your Private Plan Exemption.
How to Apply for an Exemption
To apply for an exemption, you will need to provide DFML with a Declaration of Insurance signed by you and your carrier, with your Policy Form Number if available. Read this article for detailed information on how to switch to a private plan carrier.
If you secure your exemption now, you may still have enough time to make your Private Plan Exemption effective October 1, 2020.
Get step-by-step instructions on how to switch to a private plan carrier here.
If you prefer to wait, your next opportunity to apply would begin on October 1, 2020 for January 1, 2021 effective date, i.e., you can apply for a Private Plan Exemption at any time, but Private Plan elections can only be made effective the first day of the quarter following your approved exemption.
Employers who do not plan to renew their Private Plan Exemption
You will need to call the PFML Contact Center at (617) 466-3950 or send a message through MassTaxConnect. Private plans are exempt from paying into the State Fund . If you do not plan to renew your exemption before January 1, 2021, you would be responsible for paying contribution into the State Trust Fund retroactive to October 1, 2019.
We are here to help you every step of the way. Sign up for updates to keep up with the latest changes from Massachusetts. And if you have a specific Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave question, reach out to us at PFL@shelterpoint.com.
The information in this post is based on our knowledge of the current MA Paid Family & Medical Leave law and regulations. If the Department of Family & Medical Leave revises the regulations, adopts new policies or if the law itself is amended, we will update this document. This document is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice. Employers are encouraged to consult employment law counsel for legal advice
The ShelterPoint family of companies operates under the “ShelterPoint” name strictly as a marketing name, and no legal significance is expressed or implied. The ShelterPoint family of companies consists of ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company, a NY-domiciled carrier, and its wholly-owned subsidiary ShelterPoint Insurance Company, a FL-domiciled carrier, depending on the state. ShelterPoint is a registered service mark.
Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave is available in MA only and will be underwritten by: ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company (a New York-domiciled carrier): Form# pending