Income Coverage for Medical Leave

Pregnancy Bed Rest

What to Do When Your Doctor Orders Bed Rest

By Loretta Waldman

There are ways to allay some of your worries other than avoiding parenthood altogether. Purchasing additional insurance coverage your employer offers as a voluntary benefit can provide the income protection you need when life doesn’t go quite as planned. This optional coverage – usually available through an employer but paid for entirely by the employee – provides benefits and protection beyond what’s provided with the health and life insurance you receive as part of your basic benefits package.

In this case, long or short-term disability insurance would help eliminate worries about not being able to pay your mortgage or monthly bills should you need to take more time off than what you have available in PTO.

As the name suggests, LTD insurance is for longer-term, non-work related illnesses lasting six months or more, which can include complications of pregnancy. Group long-term disability coverage through employers replaces part of your salary if you’re unable to work. A typical policy covers at least half of your salary up to a specific maximum benefit of, say $5,000.

Every employer is different, but some also offer enhancements to their basic LTD coverage, such as a return-to-work incentive which provides up to 100% of your pre-disability income for the first 12 consecutive months of you return to work. STD insurance provides the same type of paycheck protection for injuries and illnesses occurring outside of work but for a shorter duration, usually no more than a year. Maternity leave can be among the conditions covered and the benefit can be customized to enhance coverage or work in combination with LTD for continuity of coverage.

Buying these benefits through your employer is usually a good value. Typically, there’s a substantial cost savings over purchasing them separately on the individual market. Other voluntary benefits can include Life Insurance and coverage that protects you in case of critical illness, accidents, and accidental death and dismemberment. And while the scope of coverage varies with each benefit, all of them are designed to ensure you have the income you need to pay you regular bills and, depending on the policy, some other expenses associated with your condition.

Here are some specifics on the other voluntary benefit options:

  • Critical Illness Insurance (CI) offers a way to help employees protect savings during treatment and recovery from a critical condition such as cancer, heart attack, transplant or other major illnesses.
  • Life Insurance helps protect the financial futures of those who depend on your paycheck.
  • Accident Insurance helps protect against the financial burden that accident related costs can create.
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) provides a lump sum payment in the event of a covered accident. This coverage helps protect you from the financial consequences of an accident.

There are many circumstances in life that we can’t control, but fearing financial ruin due to loss of income doesn’t have to be one of them. Voluntary Benefits may help provide the added peace of mind you crave especially when your expecting. That way you can focus on your health and the fun stuff, like decorating the nursery and choosing a name that everybody can agree on.