Disability Income Protection from Aflac and The Hartford
FIND OUT HOW AFLAC CAN PROTECT YOUR INCOME AND PAY CASH DIRECTLY TO YOU.
Because of your Teacher’s Association of Anne Arundel County membership, Aflac’s insurance policies are now available to you! Aflac pays cash benefits directly to you (unless assigned), when you’re sick or injured. You can use the cash to help cover expenses that major medical does not – like mortgage, groceries, or whatever you need.
IT’S LIKE A SAFETY NET FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
Maternity Family illness or accidents Your illness or accident Includes summer time
WHAT CAN THE HARTFORD DO FOR YOU?
Your Teacher’s Association of Anne Arundel County membership also gives you access to rich, supplemental benefit plans from The Hartford to help pay for everyday bills and expenses when you are unable to work, such as Limited- or Long-term Disability, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Earnings Guard and Term Life (Preferred Plus or Regular Preferred). Workers’ compensation only covers on-the-job related injuries and illnesses, but The Hartford could protect you on- or off-the-job for both accidents and illnesses.
WHY DO YOU NEED THE HARTFORD?
- Fills Gaps for 2-week wait for Sick Bank users
- Could pay from Day 1 if you are out of Leave
- Teachers have limited/low accumulated Sick Leave
- Provides coverage for your spouse
- Pays immediately – if you have no sick leave and before and after Sick Leave Bank
- Teachers who are not vested in State Teacher Pension (first 5/10 years)
THE HARTFORD OFFERS TAAAC MEMBERS AND SPOUSES:
- Can pay up to $4,000/month tax-free
- Provides coverage up to age 67
- Low, affordable rates: starting at $1.92/month
- Prompt processing and approval
- Peace of mind for you and your family
SICK LEAVE BANK
TAAAC provides disability income protection through its Sick Leave Bank. While the Sick Leave Bank can provide up to 100 days of leave at full salary, there is a waiting period of 10 days and a qualifying standard that the disability is incapacitating and catastrophic. Normally, a pregnancy does not rise to that standard and is therefore excluded. Employee Plans Services provides disability income protection plans from Aflac and The Hartford that can fill gaps left by limitations in personal leave availability and Sick Leave Bank Rules. You will find answers to some common questions concerning absences due to childbirth.
MATERNITY AND PREGNANCY LEAVE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT SPECIAL BENEFITS DOES TAAAC/EPS HAVE FOR ANYONE WHO IS CONSIDERING HAVING A BABY?
Since the Board of Education does not offer any pay for Pregnancy or Maternity Leave, EPS has set up a number of plans with Aflac to pay members when they are out of work during this time. TAAAC and EPS have also set up programs for Short or Long Term Income Protection to provide you with continued income because new mothers often have little or no remaining sick leave upon their return to work. These plans can combine to pay you from the first day you miss work due to an accident or after a week for pregnancy, illness or surgery. Although the TAAAC Sick Leave Bank (SLB) does not pay for having a baby, you should consider enrolling in the SLB to cover future absences of significant duration. Once you use all your leave, you could use the bank for qualified illnesses or injuries.
TAAAC also has benefits for adding more Life Insurance for you and your spouse too. This would be a good time to consider purchase of a life program. This Term life Insurance remains at the same rate even if you leave the school system. Presently you have $ 50,000 in coverage negotiated by TAAAC and paid by your employer.
I HAVE JUST BECOME AWARE THAT I AM PREGNANT. WHO MUST I CONTACT AND WHEN?
Under current Federal law, you are not required to notify your employer of your pregnancy. This law was designed to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Contractually, you are obligated only to notify the Human Resources Department when you intend to commence your pregnancy leave and if, for some reason, the leave needs to be extended beyond the normal period. As a practical matter, TAAAC recommends that you advise your principal of your pregnancy as soon as you are comfortable doing so. This will allow the administration to secure a long-term substitute and allow for proper continuity of instruction for your students.
IF AFLAC IS ONE OF THE MAIN MEANS OF RECEIVING PAYMENTS, WHEN SHOULD I PURCHASE THESE PROGRAMS AND WHERE DO I CALL TO MEET WITH A REP TO EXPLAIN MY OPTIONS?
You need to plan 11 or 12 months in advance of having a baby to get the most out of these programs because there is a 10-month waiting period. In that most women have a baby within 10 months of conception, the waiting period requires you to purchase the program more than 10 months in advance. If purchased inside of that 10-month period, the pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition and will not be covered. Call EPS at 1-877-884-3784 to meet with a rep to better understand the waiting periods and how these programs work.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREGNANCY AND MATERNITY LEAVE?
Pregnancy Leave is leave for 6 weeks immediately following childbirth. It is paid for by an employee’s sick leave, Aflac’s benefit, and/or or unpaid leave. Maternity Leave is strictly unpaid leave, to be taken by tenured employees. Together, the leaves usually do not exceed one year or the remainder of the year in which the leave begins, although extensions may be requested.
WHAT IS PREGNANCY LEAVE?
Once your doctor certifies that you are disabled because of a pregnancy, you begin using your sick leave. This is Pregnancy Leave under our contract. Pregnancy Leave is defined by the contract as a “Unit I member’s inability to perform the regular duties of her job during and immediately following pregnancy shall be regarded as temporary disability.”
“All Board policies concerning personal illness shall be applicable to such disability. Upon the termination of such disability, the Unit I member must return to work unless she resigns, requests FMLA leave under the provisions of Article 8.L., the Family Medical Leave Act and related board policies and procedures, or requests leave of absence.”
HOW MUCH TIME CAN I BE OUT OF WORK USING MY OWN SICK LEAVE?
If delivery is without complications, you can take up to 6 weeks of leave or 8 weeks for a C-Section. If you have a sufficient amount of leave saved, you will be paid by your personal sick leave account for this initial absence. If you do not, the remaining absence will be unpaid unless you are a participant in an AFLAC program. Absences may be extended in the event of a lingering disability. Under limited circumstances you may be eligible for a grant by the SLB.
CAN I APPLY FOR THE SICK LEAVE BANK?
TAAAC’s SLB will pay for personal disabilities that are incapacitating and catastrophic. The SLB does not pay for absences requested for the well-being of the baby. This means that bed rest is not paid for and the birth of a baby is not an event for which the SLB would grant leave.
The TAAAC SLB does not cover paid time off after the birth of the baby. If you do not have your own leave, you will not be paid unless you have income protection through Aflac. EPS has set up Aflac programs that pay you for both the birth of a baby and any complications, including bed rest. TAAAC recommends that you to look into these programs.
WHAT IF I HAVE TO GO OUT ON BED REST?
The only program that will pay you for bed rest is your own sick leave or Aflac’s Short- Term Disability. If you are out for 7 days or more, Aflac could pay for doctor ordered bed rest. If you have sick leave, you could also use your own days. Call Employee Plans Services to better understand how these plans can work. Keep in mind of the 10-month waiting period. Your absence due to bed rest cannot be covered if your pregnancy was pre-existing.
WHAT IF MY CHILD IS BORN PREMATURELY OR WITH A MEDICAL CONDITION?
If you have sufficient personal or sick leave, you may use up to 15 days and all of your personal leave to cover family members’ illnesses. You may not use the SLB for any disability unrelated to your own personal condition. The SLB is for your disability only. You may apply for and receive unpaid coverage under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for a child’s health issues. To prevent some of this loss of income, Aflac has a program that will pay for both you and your new baby’s time in the Hospital or ICU. Call EPS to obtain a quote on these programs.
WHAT IF I AM DISABLED PRIOR TO THE BIRTH OF THE BABY, OR REMAIN DISABLED AFTER MY PREGNANCY LEAVE HAS EXPIRED?
If you are disabled prior to the birth of the baby, or remain disabled after the 30 workdays, subsequent leave is treated like any other disability. You must have either sufficient access to either paid leave or a disability income plan to avoid a loss of income. You may be eligible for a grant from SLB if the SLB Approval Committee determines that the lingering disability is incapacitating and catastrophic. If you want to ensure continued income for absences (or portions thereof) that are not covered by the SLB, participation in the appropriate EPS program is necessary.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE SICK LEAVE TO COVER MY PREGNANCY LEAVE, WILL I BE COVERED BY FMLA?
If you do not have sick leave to cover this period, and you have been employed by AACPS for 12 months or more, you may request leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. This is unpaid leave. Or you may contact an EPS rep to ensure that you are paid for pregnancy related leave, including bed rest.