Insurance for Maternity Leave - Is it a scam?

Most working women are faced with the option of short term disability insurance.  And most of us are lured in with, "while you are in your child bearing years..." or "if you need to have surgery..."  a.k.a a hysterectomy, here is what we can "do" or "provide" for you.  It sounds like a good thing and proper planning.  For me, it made sense at the time.

Before you buy into this, let me say three words to you - short term savings!  Ask yourself what is the premium and start to put back that amount of money.  Here are a few reasons:
  1. Most short term disability policies only pay a fraction of your wages.  Therefore, you won't be fully provided for.
  2. FINE PRINT!  There are always exceptions to the rule that will not cover your unique situation.  Need I remind you that you aren't a cookie cutter made to fit into the mold of insurance.
  3. Visiting at the hospital after work.
  4. You will be able to save more money than you think by drafting a designated amount each month from your pay check and having a rainy day sick fund.
Here is what happened to me.  

I took out a short term policy with the plans of one day having a child.  When I did have our baby, I had a 25 week preemie that spent a long time in the hospital.  (6 1/2 months)  Therefore I returned to work 2 weeks after his birth so I could save my remaining 4 weeks until after his coming home.  

Unum did pay for 2 weeks of leave when I had the baby.  When I took this time off, I filed the appropriate paperwork and spoke with the insurance company several times to determine the best course of action for me to utilize my policy.  Someone by phone agreed that I could get two weeks of benefits now and four weeks of benefits later (when my son came home from the hospital).  And I, in my weakened and vulnerable state believed this.  After all, I was entitled to 6 weeks of benefits.  I had been paying for this service.  And I was too tired and overwhelmed to read the fine print when the time came.

Sadly this was not the case.  I paid over $1200 in premiums to basically get nothing.  In return, all I got was a letter telling me that my claim was denied and that it was "admirable that I was able to return to work so quickly after giving birth."  If you don't think that is the ultimate slap in the face, you won't ever know the meaning of that phrase!

So, my advice to working women is to have a rainy day health fund.  Put the money up and when and if you have to use it, no one can deny it!  It is yours.  You aren't putting your faith in the hands of adjusters and greed driven corporate America!  The worst decision I made was taking out that policy.  I wasted both time and money.  To me - time is money.  Loss and loss.  I'm not a fan of either!  

Rainy day heath funds can be a huge help for women at all ages and stages in life.  While you are at it, keep saving.  There isn't a rule that says you have to only save for maternity leave or lady surgery.  Having a little bit of money tucked back can one day be cashed in on anything from new shoes to a fun trip you've always wanted to take!  

The best thing that a woman can do is arm herself with the facts!  Face them with a fist full of money that you saved for yourself to save the day!


  1. Interesting. I think you could probably save the premium amounts you would pay each month towards that. We can never really trust insurance companies as they are always looking out for their bottom line.

    1. It was my experience that I should have done that. It it was one of those things that sounded great at that time but didn't deliver. Its unfortunate, but insurance companies do have a business to run.


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