Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML) Private Plan Options

The Hartford is offering fully insured coverage and also administrative services on self-insured private plans for new customers.

Keeping Employers Informed

The MA Department of Family and Medical Leave (MA DFML) has developed guidance for private plans. The Hartford will issue fully insured policies to employers who purchase MA PFML insurance and will offer plan document templates to employers who self-insure their MA PFML program with administrative services through The Hartford.
Self-insured private plans must be bonded. The Hartford will review an employer’s self-insured plan for any potential administrative issues and, if needed, may offer to underwrite the bond. Ver las bond requirements from the MA DFML.

Private vs. State Plan1?

The Hartford recommends employers consider several factors when deciding what options work best for them. Visit The Hartford’s Private vs. State Plan page for more detailed information.

What MA PFML Plans Must Include

The benefits of a private plan must be equal to or better than the benefits offered by the state’s MA PFML program and must not cost employees more than the state plan.
The MA PFML weekly benefit is based on earnings and can be different for each employee. The maximum weekly benefit may also change annually. Please refer to the MA DFML website for the current maximum weekly benefit.
Employees may be entitled to the following per benefit year up to a total of 26 weeks combined for Paid Family and Medical Leave:
  • Up to 12 weeks of Family Leave (includes active duty family military leave, bonding time and care of a family member)
  • Up to 20 weeks of personal Medical Leave
  • Up to 26 weeks of caregiver benefit for service member
The state limits the total combined Paid Medical Leave and Paid Family Leave to 26 weeks in a 52 week rolling benefit year beginning the Sunday before the date of the first leave.
Private plans, in combination with a sponsored leave program and Short-term Disability insurance can offer greater weekly benefits and longer medical leave durations to covered individuals.

Applying for a Private Plan Exemption

Contact a Hartford Representative if you would like a copy of The Hartford’s exemption application form.
The Hartford can review and provide feedback on an employer’s application for a private plan before it is submitted to the state.
  • The MA DFML tells employers to expect a decision within 1 or 2 business days. 
  • Employers can download the list of questions that are asked during the exemption application.
    • Employers then will be asked to upload a copy of evidence of a surety bond.

Application Frequency

  • Applications for private plan exemptions are accepted by the State on a quarterly basis. Private plans will be effective on the first day of the next quarter after an exemption is granted. Exemptions are valid for one year.
  • Employers must renew their private plan exemption each year.
  • Employers need to submit an updated and signed “Confirmation of Insured Policy Form Number” to the MA DFML when renewing a private plan exemption. El documento MA DFML website describes the process for doing so. 

Contribution Rate

For 2023, the total contribution rate is 0.63% of an employee’s gross wages, up to the Social Security maximum. The contribution rate will increase to 0.88% of an employee’s gross wages in 2024.
Below is the contribution breakdown:
Employee Contributions:
  • Under the state and private plans, employee contributions are capped at a percentage of their gross annual salary up to the Social Security maximum. This percentage is adjusted annually.
  • Employee contributions, if applicable, are required to be split between the Medical Leave and Family Leave coverage:
    • 2023 Rates: A maximum of 0.318%, including 0.11% for Family Leave and 0.208% for Medical Leave coverage.
    • 2024 Rates: A maximum of 0.46%, including 0.18% for Family Leave and 0.28% for Medical Leave coverage.
  • Under a private plan, the underwritten rates may exceed, or be less than, the state plan rates. If the rates exceed the state plan rates, the employer will pay any premium in excess of state mandated employee contributions.
  • Under both the state and a private plan, employers may also choose to pay more, or all, of their employees’ share, reducing the above employees’ contributions.
Employer Contributions:
  • Under the state plan, employers with 25 or more covered individuals must pay a percentage of their employees’ gross annual wages for Paid Medical Leave. The percentage is adjusted annually. The employer contribution rate in 2023 is 0.312% and will increase to 0.42% in 2024.
  • Employees may pay 100% of the cost of the Paid Family Leave (PFL) up to 0.11% in 2023; increasing to 0.18% in 2024. Employers can also choose to pay any or all of the PFL cost, reducing the employees’ contributions.
  • Under The Hartford’s private plan, which is fully underwritten, the cost of coverage may be higher or lower than the state plan.
  • Employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals in Massachusetts do not need to pay into the state Paid Medical Leave plan but still need to collect and remit employee contributions to the state. Under The Hartford’s private plan, employer contributions are not waived, regardless of employer size.
Please reach out to your employee benefits representative at The Hartford for additional information.
7472 NS 10/23
1 For reference and consistency with updates for other statutory jurisdiction, we will refer to The Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a “state” program. 
MA Paid Family & Medical Leave Form Series includes GBD-185
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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