Many state based health benefit programs fill holes in federal programs such as paid maternity leave. Too many couples find themselves in a financial bind when mom stops working to deliver her baby, and spend time bonding with her infant.
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The United States is much different from many other countries. Many employment and labor issues are left to states and employers to decide. The federal government does not overreach.
This can be seen with maternity leave laws in the U.S. There are a few federal laws that apply across all fifty states, but each regulation has qualifying criteria, leaving many holes.
State temporary disability insurance is often assumed as a given health benefit program. Only five have a mandated program, and many people expect the government to replace their income when they are injured or sick.
Unfortunately, things do not work that way. Most people need to purchase a private policy.
The number one motivator of phone calls to our office comes from women concerned about how to pay their bills while out on pregnancy and maternity leave. Most women take an unpaid leave, and fail to realize that short-term disability must be purchased prior to conception.
Six states allow women to collect unemployment compensation for her own disability. Sixteen others allow it to care for a sick family member.