To remain eligible for benefits, an employee’s coverage must be inforce at the start of disability.
Most plan sponsors are aware that they are mandated to continue benefit coverage for the full duration of an employee’sr Maternity/Paternity leave, as long as the employee continues to fulfill their commitment as relates to any premium cost sharing with the employer.
The exception to this rule is long term disability, where an employee can choose to waive their disability coverage, should they elect not to continue the premium payment. In that case, there would be no long term disability coverage until the employee’s regularly scheduled return to work date.
Recently, at least one Canadian Insurer (Great West Life) has chosen to increase the benefit period for convalescence. This particular Insurer will provide 4 weeks of short term disability benefits when childbirth is by way of regular delivery and 6 weeks of benefits for birth by caesarean section. For coverage limits with other Insurers, plan sponsors are encouraged to contact their Insurer directly.
To remain eligible for benefits, an employee’s coverage must be inforce at the start of disability. Accordingly, employees will want to consider the benefits of keeping their disability coverage in place as they make decisions related to their Maternity/Paternity commencement dates and their premium cost sharing commitments with their employers.