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March 15, 2019

Montpelier, Vt. – Thursday, Governor Phil Scott’s and Governor Chris Sununu’s Administrations disclosed the responses Vermont and New Hampshire received to their joint request for information (RFI) on administering and insuring the Twin State Voluntary Leave Plan.

“We appreciate all the feedback we received from insurance carriers, which clearly demonstrate the merit of our approach,” said Governor Phil Scott. “Our goal in developing this initiative and working with our respective legislatures has been to establish a voluntary paid family leave program that is solvent, efficient with respect to administrative costs, affordable to workers, and balances policy goals with the expertise of the public and private sectors. The responses we received from the RFI indicate we are on the right track to meeting those objectives.”.

“We are pleased with the high-level interest from these insurers, and our state experts will continue to review these RFI’s,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “There is no question that the Twin State Voluntary Leave Plan will be viable and financially sustainable – without an income tax.”

Vermont and New Hampshire have preliminarily reviewed the RFI responses and plan to meet individually with the respondents in the coming weeks to discuss a uniform set of questions.

The following are some of the initial takeaways from the RFI responses (additional analysis can be found by clicking here):  

  • Interest: First and foremost, the RFI responses demonstrate considerable interest from insurance carriers to work with New Hampshire and Vermont to implement the Twin State Voluntary Leave Plan.
  • Experience: The size, quality, and experience of the interested carriers is also encouraging. All carriers had extensive experience administering employment-based insurance benefits, and a number had specific experience administering paid family leave insurance in connection with state programs in New York, New Jersey, and California. 
  • Strength: The six carriers combined provide insurance and other financial services to over 160 million individuals world-wide, hold over $2.2 trillion in assets, and on average have been in business for over 140 years. In addition, each of the carriers receives strong credit ratings from AM Best, S&P, Moody’s and Fitch.
  • Timeliness: Because the carriers are in the business of insurance, they are already adequately capitalized to provide the coverage; their RFI responses reflected an ability to begin administering the program shortly after premiums began being paid.    
  • Cost: The RFI responses that contained pricing specifications confirmed initial conversations regarding the cost of the program, with average estimates ranging from the about $200-$285 per employee, per year. These estimates were based on the roughly 18,500 employee pool in the combined New Hampshire and Vermont State workforces. 

The New Hampshire and Vermont administrations are encouraged by the responses and will engage with the respondents over the next two weeks to further understand and distill the information received. This process will help refine the Twin State Voluntary Leave Plan in advance of drafting a Request for Proposals - all with the aim of providing the strongest and most cost-efficient program possible.

To view the RFIs, click on list below. For an analysis of the RFIs from the Department of Financial Regulation, click here.