Before You Conceive: Get Disability Insurance for Maternity Leave

pregnant at work

It is inevitable that with any pregnancy there are going to be costs involved, at the very least some hospital bills and loss of income while you are recovering from delivering your baby.

Please know that for all of these plans, you must have them in place BEFORE conception occurs or else your pregnancy will not be a covered event as it will be a pre-existing condition. 

However, there are several types of disability insurance policies that can provide you with income during your pregnancy and maternity leave. Since the majority of the time the amount you get back more than covers the premium, they are most certainly worth looking into, and they could even save you thousands of dollars.

Please know that for all of these plans, you must have them in place BEFORE conception occurs or else your pregnancy will not be a covered event as it will be a pre-existing condition. Most plans have a 9 month exclusionary policy, and some plans even stretch it to 10 months, so please make sure you know what the exclusionary period of your plan is before trying for you little bundle of joy.

{ MORE: Don't Let Maternity Leave Turn into a Nightmare: 6 Maternity Leave Tips }

There are essentially three types of disability insurance plans, and some policies can combine two or more different aspects. Here are the types of policies available:

Short-Term Disability for Pregnancy

Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies experience some type of complication, which may require the pregnant mom to take time off work. This unexpected turn of events can put financial strain on a family, which in turn can put more stress on the mom, which is not good for her or the baby.

{ MORE: These States Just Made History By Passing Paid Family Leave Laws }

Short-term disability plans that include pregnancy protection can give you back up to 2/3 of your income that is lost should you have to leave work early to take care of yourself.

What do you think?

Before You Conceive: Get Disability Insurance for Maternity Leave

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of Thomas Thomas says:

    One distinction to make is between short-term and long-term disability insurance. Which leads to another question to consider:

    * Are you likely to become pregnant at any point in the near future?

    Many companies now have ditched their maternity leave in favor of having their female employees use short-term disability insurance to cover maternity leave. Not a fair trade, because the disability insurance only pays 66% of your regular salary (and you may still have to pay taxes on that 66%).

    Which then begs the question: how does this shift in corporate practices skew the actuarials? Is this more likely to happen in white-collar versus blue-collar industries?

    – Tom

    • Profile photo of Nate Nate says:

      What does long term disability have to do with any of this? The article clearly references short-term DI to cover pregnancy. Long-term doesn’t ever cover planned maternity leave, regardless of when you become pregnant. It simply isn’t part of the equation.

      More importantly, many companies have NOT “now ditched their maternity leave in favor of….” Most companies didn’t offer paid maternity leave before the advent of short term DI. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, an employer is required to provide time off, but it isn’t paid, and the overwhelming majority of companies have never come out of pocket to cover PAID maternity leave, neither before or after the rise of group DI coverage. I’d love to see a show of hands…. How many of you readers had employer PAID maternity leave until they replaced it with group disability? I’ve never known such an instance.

      Another note: Short-term disability frequently only covers 66%-70% of your pay, but they do that because the benefits (if employee paid) are tax free, whereas your salary is not. For many, 66% from the insurance company is probably as much or more than their post-tax pay from their employer – or dang close to it.

      The last question you “beg” makes absolutely no sense. I don’t even know where to begin. Again, there hasn’t been a shift in corporate practices. And, if we fantastically pretend there has been a shift, it happened 20+ years ago when short-term DI became prevalent. The “actuarials” have long adjusted. But more importantly, why do you think that the rise of group short-term DI coverage skewed the actuarials? Because more people were buying it??? The whole point of providing coverage to groups is to reduce the adverse selection amongst the insured and, therefore, MAKE THE ACTUARIALS MORE ACCURATE. Groups (through the laws of large numbers and averages) HELP actuarial assumptions, while individuals skew them.

      And, as usual, I have no idea why you think the proverbial color of an employee’s collar has anything to do with this. All manner of companies, from professional to industrial, offer group DI coverage. And the cost, because it is based on pay, has never been prohibitive, regardless of the employee’s actual status. If anything, white collar employees likely buy less group DI, because they are more prone to self-insure short term events, and they are more likely to buy individual long-term DI coverage, which is typically superior to group coverage in terms of benefits provided.

      Your entire post needs to crawl back into the hole it crawled out of.

  2. Profile photo of Pumpkinita Pumpkinita says:

    This is the standard practice where I work.I didn’t know much about “maternity leave” before getting pregnant, but as soon as I knew I was pregnant I talked to my Human Resources gals and they were very helpful. What they do at my company is that the first six weeks after delivery (I believe is 8 weeks if it was c-section but don’t quote me on that one) you get the short-term disability through an insurance company, those checks are for only 60% of your regular paycheck, and they take a little longer than the normal payments to go through, but they do help and is better than nothing.
    After that you can take up to six more weeks off with no pay (for a total of 12 weeks) through the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). I choose to take the full 12 weeks, even though I didn’t get paid for the second half, because I thought it was more important to give my body a chance to fully recover and to bond with my baby than the money. We were a little tight, but my husband and I planned on it and made it work, totally worth it too!
    I will recommend talking to your HR office as soon as you find out you are pregnant, since for some benefits you have to be “pre-approved”, which means you have to register your pregnancy with your health insurance during the first trimester. The HR folks are there to help you!

  3. This is good information to know if I ever work while I am pregnant!

  4. Profile photo of MamaCat MamaCat says:

    I had AFLAC with my first and planned to have it with my second but because I had canceled my policy after restarting they said they would not let me renew. It’s great but you have to keep it going or have your kids no more than two years apart. My only issue with AFLAC was them not telling me I couldn’t reinstate after the second cancelation because I didn’t need to the insurance and it was costly.

    • Profile photo of Nate Nate says:

      So you wanted to only pay for your insurance when you planned on needing it, and you are surprised they wouldn’t let you do that??? That’s a little unrealistic, in my opinion.

  5. Profile photo of Lulu Lulu says:

    Super helpful. Wish I knew some of this before having the baby.

  6. Profile photo of Angela Angela says:

    I wish I had this article handy before I had my baby. I will share with my friends, so they don’t miss out!

  7. I wish I qualified for this. =[

  8. Profile photo of Jess1477 Jess1477 says:

    good information

  9. Profile photo of brittany brittany says:

    i know something new

  10. Profile photo of MLS MLS says:

    This is helpful.

  11. Profile photo of Hipmom808 Hipmom808 says:

    This is great information. When I had my first child, I had no idea how to go about maternity leave. Its important we understand this prior to having a baby.


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