Approved Private Plans
Although the Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance plan (FAMLI) is mandatory for all employers with one or more employees working in Colorado, there is an option to meet your FAMLI obligations by using an approved private plan. Employers need to provide proof of purchase of a private plan, or a copy of their policy and proof of surety bond for a self insured plan, that provides equal or greater benefits and protections than the state-run FAMLI plan along with their private plan application using My FAMLI+ Employer to obtain the FAMLI Division’s approval. Read the adopted private plan rules here.
Note: Employers planning to offer a private plan (including self-insurance models) are not exempt from paying FAMLI premiums until the FAMLI Division has reviewed and approved the private plan documentation in accordance with the Division’s private plan regulations. All employers must register with the Division and apply to use a Private Plan. Even if your Private Plan is approved, employers are required to pay premiums up until the effective date of the private plan which will be no earlier than 60 calendar days from the date the Private Plan application was submitted.
Employers who submit Private Plan applications after October 31, 2023 are:
- Ineligible for a refund of premiums paid in 2023.
- Responsible for continuing to remit their premium payments and submit wage reports until the effective date of their approved Private Plan application.
2023 Refund Eligibility
Employers will be eligible for a refund for premiums paid in 2023, if their private plan has an effective date on or before January 1, 2024 AND they submit an application for private plan approval on or before October 31, 2023. Only employers who submitted their application on or before October 31, 2023, with an effective date on or before January 1, 2024, may stop remitting FAMLI premiums and submitting wage reports as soon as they receive approval from the Division.
The FAMLI Division is reaching out to all eligible employers in order to get their preference for receiving their refund (ACH Credit or paper check). Employers must use the funds to refund employees who contributed premiums in 2023, unless their approved private plan authorizes 2023 collection of premium contributions from employees.
The refund process will be initiated by FAMLI staff after each private plan is approved. When the FAMLI Division reaches out to employers with approved plans to initiate their refunds, FAMLI will also request a list of employees who contributed premiums but who are no longer employed by the business and will issue individual refunds of their contributions directly to the former employee.
Private Plan Insurance Carriers
Insurance carriers must file their policies with the Division of Insurance and get approval from the State before their policies are added to the application system in My FAMLI+ Employer. If employers do not see their carrier listed in My FAMLI+ Employer, that means the insurance carrier hasn’t received final approval from the state. The list below identifies which insurance carriers have have policies that have been approved by the state:
State-Approved Insurance Carriers
These policies have received approval from the State and are listed in the private plan application of My FAMLI+ Employer.
- American Fidelity Assurance Company
- Arch Insurance Company
- Continental American Insurance Company
- Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company
- Life Insurance Company of North America
- Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York
- Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
- Principal Life Insurance Company
- Prudential Insurance Company of America
- Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company
- ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company
- Standard Insurance Company
- Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada
- Symetra Life Insurance Company
- The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
- The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
- United of Omaha Life Insurance Company
- UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company
- Unum Insurance Company
Inclusion on this list does NOT act as formal approval for an employer’s use of a private plan to avoid submitting wage data and paying FAMLI premiums. An employer MUST submit a private plan application for a fully approved plan within My FAMLI+ Employer in order to receive formal approval from the FAMLI Division. Please refer to the Private Plan User Guide for step-by-step instructions.
Here’s what you need to know about private plans:
An approved private plan may be in the form of either self-insurance or a policy obtained through an insurance carrier approved by the State. Employers applying for private plan approval must pay a $500 administration fee when they submit their application. Starting in the first calendar quarter of 2025, employers with approved private plans will be subject to an annual maintenance fee based on FAMLI Division costs specific to each employer’s usage of their private plan from the year prior, including costs to audit the plan and administer any appeals related to the plan.
In order to be approved by the Division, a private plan must provide employees with all of the same rights, protections and benefits as the state plan, including but not limited to:
- Offer at least the same number of weeks of benefits
- Offer at least the same level of wage replacement for each week of benefits.
- Include no additional requirements or conditions.
- Deduct no more than the same amount from employee paychecks as the state plan.
- Cover all employees through the duration of their employment.
- Provide for the confidentiality of employee information related to FAMLI benefits, and such information must be kept separate from all other employment records.
- Remain compliant with any additional requirements established by the FAMLI Division.
Employers using a self-insured private plan must:
- Apply for private plan approval with the Division in the same way an employer using a private plan obtained through an insurance carrier would.
- Upload your self-insured private plan policy document that indicates how your policy is equal to or greater than the state-run FAMLI plan. Use the Self-Insured Private Plan Template below to satisfy this requirement.
- Include in their application a surety bond in an amount equal to one year of total premiums they would otherwise owe to the Division along with payroll documentation supporting the surety bond calculation.
- Establish and maintain a separate account: (1) into which all employee contributions are deposited and kept; and (2) from which all benefits must be paid, and from which private plan administrative costs may be paid.
- Maintain surety bond coverage for the duration of their approved self-insured private plan.
After getting approval from the Division to use a private plan, employers must notify their employees of their decision to use a private plan instead of the state plan no later than 30 days before the effective date of the approved plan.
This must be a written notice and may be delivered to employees electronically, in person, or via mail. For employees starting work later than the 30 days before the effective date, employers must deliver the written notice immediately upon hire.