Family Medical Leave Insurance Boondoggle

More state mandated insurance

The NH’s Democrat legislature is going to pass a bill establishing a system of paid family and medical leave insurance. Having heard more than a few people ask why we need more state mandated insurance it seemed appropriate that as an informed electorate we should understand that need. It must be a need if everyone has to buy it, right?

Is it a popular commercial product?

Do you know whether there is a commercially available equivalent product in the market in New Hampshire? Since inquiring minds want to know an inquiry was made the first of February of the New Hampshire Insurance Department at 21 South Fruit Street, Suite 14, Concord, NH 03301. The answer was just received.

Three questions were was asked: 1. Is there any company licensed to sell a product in New Hampshire that will provide coverage comparable to that offered by Senate Bill 1? The answer was received two and one half months later, after passage of the bill. The answer to that question is there is. One company offers an approved optional rider that provides limited benefits in the event of a family leave situation.

Question 2 was: If so, which company or companies are they? The answer is: The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. No address or contact information was contained in the response.

Question 3 was: What is the rate structure under which they are authorized to sell said coverage? The answer is: GARD-130213867 and GARD-130213879 https://www.nh.gov/insurance/lah/index.htm and https://filingaccess.serff.com/sfa/home/nh.

Are you paying for political talking points?

The answers to the questions are important because the Democrat majority in the NH House and NH Senate are attempting to make great hay from pushing a mandatory state run insurance program. The program will cost tens of millions of dollars to start up. It will add dozens of people to the state government payroll. Also the program adds an expansion to budget costs from this point forward. It also adds a payroll deduction income tax. The tax is expected to bring in between $150 and $200 million annually. This is a budget buster program that takes money out of every household budget. So is this a benefit? Or is this an expensive political talking point that nobody actually wants?

Given that New Hampshire has 2% unemployment, and it does. And given that, if employers are having trouble acquiring new workers, which they are. Then, are they acquiring this type of insurance policy and using family leave insurance as a recruitment tool? If they are then this product would logically seem to be fairly widely sold. So is that true? It turns out that the New Hampshire Insurance Department has no evidence to support that assertion.

If an employer could use this as a recruitment tool why wouldn’t they in such a tight employment market? If the product had attractiveness to employees in the marketplace wouldn’t it in demand? Wouldn’t employees be clamoring for it? If it is valuable to employees wouldn’t they flock to employers who provided it? The Insurance Department collects revenue from policy sales. If it were getting any appreciable level of revenue it would know that.

On the other hand, if that’s not happening: Why does it make sense to obligate the state to dozens of new employees and millions of dollars in startup costs and tens of millions of dollars of ongoing expense for a product that doesn’t even seem to be commercially viable?

Can you find a use for the money you earn?

On a more personal level, aren’t the wage dollars we earn more valuable to us in our pockets than in some tax account in Concord? Don’t we have enough state required insurance? Can’t we figure out how best to spend the dollars we earn? Why do we need every employer in the state adding another deduction from every pay check we earn, every payday from now until forever? Do we really want to be sending more of our payroll dollars to Concord just so the Democrat party can have a political talking point?

I’m just saying: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.