Approved Private Plans
Although the Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Plan (FAMLI) will be 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 will need to prove their private plan provides equal or greater benefits and protections than the state-run FAMLI plan by submitting their private plan documents to the FAMLI Division for approval.
Quick 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 or self-insurance documentation in accordance with the Division’s private plan regulations. All employers must register with the Division and will be required to pay premiums until they receive approval from the Division. Employers will be able to request a refund for premiums paid in 2023, if their private plan has an effective date on or before January 1, 2024, and they get the plan approved by the Division before October 31, 2023.
We are working closely with the Division of Insurance (DOI) to ensure private plan insurance carriers have products available to employers that meet all of the FAMLI requirements. Employers will use My FAMLI+ Employer to submit their private plan application which will include proof of purchase documentation. This functionality is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2023. Read the adopted private plan rules here.
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 will be required to pay a $500 administration fee when they submit their application. After the private plan is approved and starting in the first calendar quarter of 2025, employers with approved private plans will be subject to an annual maintenance fee that will be based on 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:
- 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.
- Must 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. The Division will provide the option to download and fill out a self-insured private plan form employers can use to satisfy this requirement in the coming weeks.
- Include in their application a surety bond in an amount equal to one year of total premiums they would 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 its 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.