The state of Colorado with the Division of Family and Medical Leave Insurance is currently developing its PFML program, including specifics on how it will be implemented. The Hartford will provide timely updates to employers on this page as details emerge.
- January 1, 2023: State plan contributions begin. All employers default into the state program and must submit contributions to the state following the end of the quarter. Employers intending to use a private carrier for a fully insured private plan may want to consider covering their employees’ share of the contribution for the default period to avoid employee reimbursement issues. Ver section 5.21.2 of the law for more information.
- October 31, 2023: Completed applications for private plans due (for an effective date of January 1, 2024). We highly recommended that employers submit earlier.
- January 1, 2024: Benefits scheduled to begin.
Tools and Resources
The Hartford has prepared guides to help employers with employees in CO:
Colorado provides resources to help employers:
The Hartford is providing this information as a resource and does not control the content of third-party websites.
What’s Covered Under the State Programs?
- Caring for a new child (through birth, adoption, or foster placement) during the first year after birth, adoption or foster placement.
- Caring for a family member with a serious health condition.
- Tending to the employee’s own serious health condition.
- For any qualifying exigency leave (e.g., for certain needs related to a family member's military service).
- Taking Safe Leave for an employee (or family member) experiencing specified issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault or abuse, or stalking.
What Are the State Plan Benefits?
- Up to 12 weeks for Family, Medical, Safe Leave, or Qualifying Exigency, with total paid for any combination capped at 12 weeks. There is an additional four weeks of leave available to employees with a serious health condition related to pregnancy or childbirth complications, totaling up to 16 weeks of FAMLI per year.
- The weekly benefit is 90% of the employee's average weekly wages if the employee's average weekly wage is equal to or less than 50% of the state average weekly wage (SAWW). Then, for any portion of an employee’s average weekly wage that is greater than 50% of the SAWW, you would calculate 50% of the employee’s remaining average weekly wage and add it to the calculation above.
- The maximum benefit is $1,100 per week for 2024. The maximum weekly benefit in 2025 will be 90% of the SAWW (which is subject to change each year and may be higher than $1,100).
How Is the State Program Funded?
- The state program generally will be funded with a 50/50 split of private employer and employee contributions.
- The premium rate is capped at 0.90% of wages1 in the program’s first two years and then will be set by the state PFML Division Director for years 2025 and beyond, though not to exceed one and two tenths of a percent (1.2%) of wages per employee.
- Employers with nine or fewer employees will not be required to pay the employer portion of the premium but must withhold and forward their employees’ premium portions to the program.
What Are the State Plan Eligibility Requirements?
Colorado PFML benefits will be available to an employee who has earned at least $2,500 in wages in a specified base period, and otherwise satisfies the administrative requirements in the PFML law.
Do All Employers Need to Participate?
- State employers and employees are covered by the program. Self-employed individuals may opt-in to participate in the program.
- Local government employers in Colorado may decline to participate, but their individual employees may opt-in.
- Federal employers and employees are excluded.
Is There a Private Plan Option?
Yes, an employer-offered private plan that provides both Family and Medical Leave benefits must be approved by the state. Both self-insured and insured private plans are permitted.
The private plan:
- Must have the same or more generous benefits than the state program.
- Cannot cost employees more than the contribution rate established by the state.
- Cannot be more restrictive than the state plan
Employers and employees covered by an equivalent private plan do not have to contribute to the state program. An employer may deduct the employee portion of the state rate from employee wages to finance the plan, though the employer may pay for all or part of the employees’ contributions.
Is The Hartford Offering Fully Insured Coverage in CO?
We offer fully insured coverage and also administrative services on self-insured private plans effective January 1, 2024, and later.
An employer will be able to apply to the state for approval. Once details are announced, we can review any self-insured plan to help determine if it meets state approval and provide feedback prior to your submission to the state.
Please reach out to your employee benefits representative at The Hartford for additional information.
1 Premiums shall not be required for employees' wages above the contribution and benefit base limit established annually by the federal social security administration for purposes of the Federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program limits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 430.
This informational material is subject to change as The Hartford continues to receive guidance from states and municipalities. It shall not be considered legal advice. The Hartford assumes no responsibility for legal compliance with respect to an employer’s business practices, and the views and recommendations contained herein shall not constitute The Hartford’s undertaking on a company’s behalf, or for the benefit of others, to determine or warrant that an employer’s business operations are in compliance with any law, rule, or regulation. Employers seeking resolution of specific legal or business issues, questions, or concerns regarding this topic should consult their own attorney or business advisors; and employees should continue to consult their employers’ Human Resources or other employment benefits department for guidance on the application of any law, rule, or regulation.
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