FMLA/pregnancy leave

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by KinderCali, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. KinderCali

    KinderCali Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2007

    I am expecting my first baby around December 10th, and am looking into my options in terms of leave. I will be contacting my union about this as well. I signed up for disability long ago (which covers pregnancy), so I learned I am entitled to one month paid before the baby, and six weeks after, through this program. This is independent of the school. The only thing is... I am not sure I want to return to my school after the baby is born, but my husband and I rely on the insurance from this teaching job.

    A teacher friend from SoCal told me that she gave birth in October, and was able to take a leave (unpaid) that included insurance coverage for the rest of the school year! This seems just too good to be true!! I've looked on the FMLA website, but it only mentions a 12 week unpaid, but with insurance leave, plus it is very difficult to understand. My school contract also says that if I don't return after I have the baby, I have to reimburse their insurance costs. I guess I thought as a public employee and union member, my pregnancy leave policy might be better than that of a private sector employee, but this does not seem to be so. FMLA seems like it serves mainly to reserve your job for your return. 6 weeks after a birth just seems so soon to come back!

    I know I am not unique in wanting to stay at home awhile with my baby, but also needing insurance. Has anyone else decided after giving birth to not come back and then been responsible for the insurance costs? Also, when did you tell them you were not coming back?

    Any Cali or other teachers that have been through this? With COBRA coverage supposed to be sky-high, I am looking to hang on to my insurance coverage as long as possible!!!

    Thank you for your help,

    KinderCali
     
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  3. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2007

    If you figure it out, let me know! I had my baby on May 30th and can't figure out how to stay home with him...but I cry every time I look at his adorable face and think how awful it's gonna be to leave him during the day.

    I hope there's a way for you to keep your coverage. Can you imagine how many of society's ills we could eliminate or at least drastically reduce if mom's were encouraged to stay home for those first few critical years? I'd give anything to be a stay-at-home mommy!

    Good luck!
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 12, 2007

    I think it is very unlikely that you'd be able to take a significant amount of time off unpaid and still retain insurance coverage.
     
  5. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 13, 2007

    I used FMLA time with both of my kids. I am lucky that my district allows new moms to take the rest of the school year in which the baby was born and the ENTIRE next year off (unpaid, of course) without having to resign.

    My first baby was born on Aug. 30, 2001. Because she was born two days into the school year, I was paid for those two days (I didn't have to go in), my six weeks of leave, and then I retained my insurance coverage for the next twelve weeks. I took the rest of the school year off unpaid and switched over to my husband's insurance.
    My second child was born June 8, 2004, just a few days before the end of that school year. I had paid leave for two weeks before my due date and then the few days remaining of the school year. I took twelve weeks of FMLA at the beginning of the next school year.

    I have never heard of a place demanding repayment of insurance costs! Can they really do that? If you've been paying your premiums and are covered at the time of the birth, it seems you are entitled to that coverage.
     
  6. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2007

    In our district, once you are on FMLA, you are responsible for all of your own insurance costs (the part you normally pay plus the part the district covers for each employee and family member). Once you resign, you can still carry coverage, but it's under COBRA, which is EXPENSIVE. And it's for a limited amount of time, too, short-term. If you are approved for a leave of absence, you can take up to 2 years off, but, again, you are responsible for your entire cost of the policy. What surprised me was how much that entire cost actually ended up being. The employee portion was minimal - like $20 per month. The county-covered part was something like $800 a month!
    Kim
     

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