Scott Launches Voluntary Paid Family Vacation Program Critics Say It’s Not Enough – InsuranceNewsNet

FAMILY, page 3



The state hired The Hartford insurance company to create what the Scott Administration called the Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Plan. The governor said Tuesday this proposal is similar to a proposal made in 2019 New Hampshire. This plan stalled; New Hampshire launched its own family vacation program.

The administration outlined the new plan in a statement released on Tuesday. The new insurance cover from The Hartford will provide registered Vermont State employees 60 percent of their wages for six weeks for qualifying events beginning in July 2023. These events include: • the birth of a child and the care of the newborn within a year of birth;

• the adoption of a child or placement in foster care by a staff member and the care of the newly adopted child within one year of placement;

• caring for the employee’s spouse, child, stepchild, foster child or ward who lives with the employee, parent or parent of the employee’s spouse who has a serious medical condition;

• a serious medical condition that renders the employee unable to perform essential functions of his or her job;

• or any qualifying requirement if the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is an insured military member on “covered active duty” or to care for an insured service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse is , son, daughter, parents or next of kin.

In 2024, private and non-governmental public employers with two or more employees will be able to choose from a range of plan options. And in the final phase from 2025 people responsible for Vermont Non-paid leave employers, self-employed Vermonters, and single-employee employers may purchase coverage through the state’s individual purchase pool insured by The Hartford.

“That Hartford is pleased to have been selected as an insurance partner for the Vermont Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program,” said Jonathan BennettHead of Group Services at The Hartford, at the press conference. He quoted The Hartford’s years of experience in the insurance industry and adds that the company insures about one in nine employees in the US Discussing the importance of peace of mind for workers trying to balance work and personal challenges, he added, “We understand the value this (program) brings to Vermonters.”

Scott and others in his administration said lawmakers and working groups had generally agreed with the program’s goals. The differences, he said, are due to cost. This voluntary program — which essentially allows employers to enroll rather than mandate participation — and the flexibility to design specific coverage plans help keep costs down. For example, employers could voluntarily choose to spend more money to give workers extra time off.

Kevin Gaffneycommissioner of Financial Regulation Departmentsaid the program would cost the state approximately 2 million dollars annually – approx $4.50 per week – for each of his employees. As the program expands, costs are expected to increase to up to $8 per employee per week.

Gaffney said the state employees’ union and the state police troops’ union approved the plan. He expects the Democratic-controlled Legislature and others to discuss and debate this program in the coming legislature.

Lt. gov. Molly Greywho ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination US housewas critical of Scott’s plan and will co-host a legislative summit on paid family and sick leave Thursday at the Statehouse in California Montpellier (

“There is a generation of Vermonters who continue to find themselves as the sandwich generation — caring for aging parents and children at the same time,” Gray said in a statement. “Those of the administration Paid family and health insurance The program announced today does not address the needs and circumstances of Vermont workers and families.”

She declined to make the program voluntary, saying it was difficult for employees to enroll without prior knowledge of mitigating circumstances (such as a parent’s illness), providing only six weeks’ leave for the birth of a child, and not providing adequate financial compensation to pay – 60 percent of wages – to workers who take time off.

Gray said she hopes lawmakers will move forward on the issue when they return to the statehouse in January.