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famliy coverage requirement

Statutory Benefits Center

CO Family & Medical Leave Local
Government Coverage Requirements

FAMLI Options for Local Governments

When designing a FAMLI program that works for all employers, the state of Colorado gave its local government employers choices on how they could participate.

Local governments have 3 main options on whether and to what extent to provide FAMLI coverage under the State Plan or through an approved private plan:

  1. Participate in FAMLI;
  2. Opt -out of FAMLI altogether; and
  3. Opt-out of employer participation for FAMLI.
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Participate in FAMLI

The local government must register in the FAMLI system and create an account - just like a private sector employer. A few important things to note:

  • Local government employer participation is assumed and is automatically included in FAMLI by default, and no vote by the governing body is required. Learn more about opting out here.
  • Local governments who fully participate in FAMLI will share responsibility for funding the program with their employees.
  • Local governments participating in FAMLI were required to begin collecting FAMLI premiums from their employees on January 1, 2023. Initial premium payments for Q1 of 2023 were due on April 30, 2023, but all Q1 premium payments were given a 30-day grace period to May 31, 2023.
  • The commitment to participate in the FAMLI program is 3 years, i.e., the local government must remain in the FAMLI program for at least 3 years!
  • Local governments may elect to use the State Plan or an approved private plan.

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Opt-out of FAMLI altogether

There are a few steps to opt out of FAMLI:

  1. The local government’s governing body (such as a public-school board, board of regents, board of directors, etc). needs to vote to opt-out of participation in FAMLI.
    • Opting-out does not require having to put an equivalent paid leave plan in place.
  2. The local government then registers in the FAMLI system to upload documentation of their decision (i.e., letter of decision on local government letterhead, and date) to opt- out.
  3. They have to notify their employees within 30 days of the vote.
  4. Lastly, at least every 8 years, they need to renew the opt-out through a similar process and inform the FAMLI Division of their continued decision to decline FAMLI coverage in writing. This notice needs to include details such as date and outcome of the vote; and it must be received by the Division at least 1 full calendar quarter in advance of the end of the 12 calendar quarters. So, for example, 3 calendar years and 1 quarter before the end of the 8-year clock
    • If the local government does not vote to opt-out again, they will be considered a covered employer for FAMLI.

This does not mean that they have to wait 8 years to provide FAMLI. After the initial opt-out, they may choose to provide coverage at any time. Be sure to check the rules for local government employers as published by the FAMLI Division – they provide detailed requirements for declining and/or returning to coverage.

Access the FAMLI Division’s Employee Notification Template here.

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FAMLI Expert Tip:

It’s important to note that employees still have the option of self-selecting FAMLI coverage even if the local government they work for declined participation in FAMLI!

Employees who wish to participate individually can do so at any time and just need to register in the FAMLI system (like an independent contractor) to self-report their wage data and remit a quarterly premium into the system (learn more about premiums and contributions here). Further, they do not have to submit contributions to the program until it begins in 2024.

However, while voluntarily covered employees are eligible to take leave, they do not receive FAMLI-based job protection since the employer opted out.

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Opt-out of employer participation for FAMLI

Local governments have the option to opt out of paying the employer share of the premium, while supporting employees who want to participate voluntarily. The local government’s governing body must still vote to opt-out of paying the employer FAMLI premium and indicate this decision on the My FAMLI+ Employer portal.

In this case, employees who want to pay for FAMLI coverage, don’t have to manage their participation and premium payment themselves through the My FAMLI+ Employer portal. Their employer takes care of the administrative burden.

If a local government employer votes to opt out between April 1 and June 30, 2023, they are expected to submit Q1 wage data and pay corresponding premiums for the quarter.

What does a local government need to provide to the FAMLI Division when opting out?

The requirement may be fulfilled by a letter on letterhead and must indicate the date the vote was taken (this starts the 8-year clock), and declare which of the options outlined above the local government has chosen.


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The information in this document is based on our knowledge of the CO Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act (CO FAMLI) and regulations, and may change as regulations evolve or the CO FAMLI Division issues guidance regarding the regulations. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel. Please consult with an appropriate professional for legal and compliance advice. The information in this material is not intended as an offer of coverage. It is for illustrative purposes only, providing a general overview of the CO FAMLI program. It is not a contract. ShelterPoint Life policies are subject to Underwriting approval. Claim payment is not guaranteed; benefit amount depends on wages. All coverage extends up to policy limits. Policies are reviewed annually and may be cancelled for nonpayment. Please refer to the policy for terms under which it may be continued or cancelled, and for policy exclusions and limitations. In the event of conflicting information with the policy, the policy will take precedence over what is shown in this material. 

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. 

Available in Colorado only. Underwritten by: ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company (principal office in Garden City, NY) Policy Form # TBD

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