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Pregnancy & Benefits in the US vs. Canada?

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First of all, I'm not pregnant. My fiance and I want to start a family in a few years and I had a few questions for those of you who know more about, well, everything! :blush:

I know having kids is expensive vs. Canada and have researched most of the costs associated with hospital vs. home births .. My main question (which I can't seem to find some sort of concrete answer for) is what about Maternity leave? Does it exist in the US? This might be a really stupid question but I asked my fiance and he kind of went "Huh?"

Maybe a guy thing, who knows. Anyway, I was hoping someone could explain Maternity leave in the US. Does it exist? How long? Company specific?

Thank you in advance. :)

:bonk:

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In Georiga, and I don't know if it state specific or even company specific, but the trend seems to be 6 weeks.

But remember, once you move to the US - you cannot return to Canada to claim health benefits. You forgoe that when you move

Good luck


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Providing you have health insurance when you move here you'll be just fine. You don;t want to arrive pregnant though (which doesn't sound like your plan, just saying) Some folks have had trouble with insurance and getting the pregnancy covered if it was pre-existing.

Regarding maternity leave do not kid yourself into thinking there is really any in most states. In VA the maximum new mothers take here is 3 months (many tyake less)....that's right, 3 months and then you find a good daycare that takes newborns or you have family take care of the baby initially. Pretty scary, but hundreds of thousands of women do it year. I personally cannot imagine not being home for at least 6 months, but Canadians are spoiled by the year of mat leave. Generally it is unpaid.....it's not like Canada where EI pays the benefit.

Its an absolute shame that the government doesn;t pass a bill to at least give 3 months paid, it would be so helpful. I've known a few ladies at work who start back part-time and work from home after 6 weeks/2 months....can you imagine your brain even functioning at that point? Mine certainly wasn't. Some have used FMLA(family medical leave act) to take another 3 months...also unpaid for a total of 6 months.

Heallthcare is great when you have insurance, but doing it without would be expensive.

As someone mentioned, you're no longer eligible for Provincial Health benefits the day you move, keep that in mind.


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Thank you everyone for your helpful replies thus far! Not exactly what I was hoping to hear though. Looks like my fiance needs to get rich. :whistle:

For future posters: Yes, I am aware that I do *not* have any Canadian health benefits once I move. Sorry if my topic title is misleading!

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Thank you everyone for your helpful replies thus far! Not exactly what I was hoping to hear though. Looks like my fiance needs to get rich. :whistle:

For future posters: Yes, I am aware that I do *not* have any Canadian health benefits once I move. Sorry if my topic title is misleading!

Like someone above said, if you have amazing health insurance (and the money to cover whatever is left for you to pay), then there shouldn't be an issue. I much prefer the ease of having a child in Ontario :). No need to worry about extra costs and whether or not the care needed is in network, yuck!


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Yes unlike Europe and such, maternity leave here is 3 months. In Europe and Canada maybe it is up to a year. Only reason I know this is because in the past 2 years, I've had numerous coworkers having kids. Friend of mine up in Canada said she's taking over for her boss whose out on maternity leave, but wasn't sure if it was 6 months or a year either...


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I already knew about this before I even considered moving out here to the states.

Hopefully once my partner and I decide to have children, he's making enough money allowing me to completely stop working and just be a full time mom.

I really don't want some stranger raising my child. It's really ridiculous that you can't have at least 6 months, 6 weeks is a joke. Maybe we should just both move to Canada before we have kids, it will cost us a lot less in the end, and heck, he could even get some time off to be with his kid :D

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Which state are you in? It's often state dependent.

In California, for example, I can take up to 4 weeks disability leave before the birth and 6 weeks of disability leave after the birth. I receive disability pay at roughly 60% of the income I earn in the quarter prior to taking the leave. Once disability runs out (you may be entitled to longer than 6 weeks if you have a complicated birth or Cesarean; the standard for a normal delivery is 6 weeks) I can then claim Family Medical Leave for a further 6 weeks, again at 60% of my normal income.

I do not have to pay tax on the disability pay I receive, but I do have to pay state taxes on the Family Medical Leave pay I receive.

So in total I can take ~4 months off work, and I can be compensated for the entirety of that four months. It's better than I was expecting, to be honest!


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Providing you have health insurance when you move here you'll be just fine. You don;t want to arrive pregnant though (which doesn't sound like your plan, just saying) Some folks have had trouble with insurance and getting the pregnancy covered if it was pre-existing.

Regarding maternity leave do not kid yourself into thinking there is really any in most states. In VA the maximum new mothers take here is 3 months (many tyake less)....that's right, 3 months and then you find a good daycare that takes newborns or you have family take care of the baby initially. Pretty scary, but hundreds of thousands of women do it year. I personally cannot imagine not being home for at least 6 months, but Canadians are spoiled by the year of mat leave. Generally it is unpaid.....it's not like Canada where EI pays the benefit.

Its an absolute shame that the government doesn;t pass a bill to at least give 3 months paid, it would be so helpful. I've known a few ladies at work who start back part-time and work from home after 6 weeks/2 months....can you imagine your brain even functioning at that point? Mine certainly wasn't. Some have used FMLA(family medical leave act) to take another 3 months...also unpaid for a total of 6 months.

Heallthcare is great when you have insurance, but doing it without would be expensive.

As someone mentioned, you're no longer eligible for Provincial Health benefits the day you move, keep that in mind.

some companies provide temporary disability insurance and will give you insurance payments while you are off on maternity leave. The catch is; your doctor has to say you are unable to work. Usually you are cleared to 'work' again after six weeks. After that the insurance quits paying.


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some companies provide temporary disability insurance and will give you insurance payments while you are off on maternity leave. The catch is; your doctor has to say you are unable to work. Usually you are cleared to 'work' again after six weeks. After that the insurance quits paying.

Gawd isn't that mental? Your doctor has to say you're 'unable to work'? What a crock...of course you can't work you just squeezed a small person out of you...kind of a crapshoot.


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Yes maternity leave does exist.


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First of all, I'm not pregnant. My fiance and I want to start a family in a few years and I had a few questions for those of you who know more about, well, everything! :blush:

I know having kids is expensive vs. Canada and have researched most of the costs associated with hospital vs. home births .. My main question (which I can't seem to find some sort of concrete answer for) is what about Maternity leave? Does it exist in the US? This might be a really stupid question but I asked my fiance and he kind of went "Huh?"

Maybe a guy thing, who knows. Anyway, I was hoping someone could explain Maternity leave in the US. Does it exist? How long? Company specific?

Thank you in advance. :)

It's called "parental leave" here because its not just the woman that just gave birth that can use it (people who adopt are eligible, dads as well). FMLA protects your job for up to 12 weeks but whether any of that is paid is company dependant.

I assume most would make you use your annual leave, or sick leave but outside of that, nada.

It's so weird to me that parents are basically forced to go back to work after 4 months.

According to this (old) document http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/DocServer/ParentalLeaveReportMay05.pdf?docID=1052 CA is actually the best state for parental leave.

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