In last evening’s State of the Union speech, President Trump highlighted paid family leave as one of his Administration’s priorities.

In June 2019, the National Academy of Social Insurance issued an in-depth report, Designing Universal Family Care, in partnership with Caring Across Generations. The report was developed over a year of deliberations by a Study Panel of 29 experts in care policy from a variety of perspectives. Academy members Marc Cohen, Co-Director of the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston, and Heidi Hartmann, former President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, served as Study Panel Co-Chairs.

The report examines state-based social insurance policy options to promote paid family and medical leave (PFML) in the context of a range of critical and interrelated family care issues, including early child care and education, and long-term services and supports. Read the report to learn more about PFML policy options, including tradeoffs associated with specific policy choices within the context of assuring universal access, affordability, and financial stability through well-defined financing mechanisms.


What to know about PFML:

  • PFML is a wage replacement benefit, which seeks to replace enough wages to make leave-taking affordable.
  • The United States is the only industrialized country without a national program offering workers some form of PFML.
  • Only 17 percent of civilian workers in the U.S. have PFML coverage through an employer-provided benefit.
  • Most U.S. workers—when they need time away from work to care for a loved one and/ or cope with a health problem of their own—lack access to paid leave.
  • If they take leave to recover from an illness or care for a loved one, they risk significant wage or even job loss.
  • To date, ten jurisdictions have adopted some form of PFML policy – CA, CT, DC, HI, MA, NJ, NY, PR, RI, WA.
  • Even where provided, PFML benefits are highly inequitably distributed, as workers who earn more, work for large employers, or hold white-collar jobs are much more likely to have access to such benefits.
  • Access to PFML increases maternal workforce attachment after giving birth, reduces poverty for households with children, and may also be associated with increased earnings for mothers.
  • Access to PFML for new fathers has been demonstrated to increase women’s employment and future earnings.

The National Academy of Social Insurance, in collaboration with Caring Across Generations, will be conducting a series of forums throughout the nation in 2020. The report’s findings will be discussed with a broad array of stakeholders, including state policymakers, grassroots community organizations, and caregivers.

If you’re interested in PFML, please join us on the road in 2020!

For more information, contact Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance, at

Posted on: February 5, 2020

Keywords: Caregiving

Leave A Comment

How can we help you?

Media Inquiries
Sponsorship Opportunities

Stay up-to-date on the latest research & policy updates.

Subscribe to our newsletter