DURHAM, N.C. – Welcoming a new child into the family is a life event that brings joy, love, anxiety and hard work for parents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross) is proud to announce an expanded paid leave policy for employees which recognizes the importance of the transition of a growing family.

Blue Cross extends paid family leave for 12 weeks to mothers, fathers and adopting families beginning in 2017.

“Investing in our employees and their families, allowing them to build a bond with their new additions, not only lowers health care costs to our employees and our customers, but it’s the right thing to do,” states Fara Palumbo, senior vice president and chief human resources office for Blue Cross. “Reports show there is a connection between paid leave, employee retention and the health of parents and their children.”

Longer paid leave can lead to:

  • fewer premature births
  • higher childhood vaccination rates
  • longer duration of breastfeeding, strengthen babies’ immune systems and lowering mother’s long-term risk for diabetes and breast cancer
  • increased partner involvement

“About 1.46 million people in the North Carolina’s private companies do not have access to paid leave,” says Brad Wilson, president and CEO for Blue Cross. “As a company that cares about more workers having access to paid leave, we not only have the opportunity to extend this benefit to our employees, but also to be a corporate leader improving the health and well-being of all families in North Carolina.”

Blue Cross supports parents and all employees by offering a variety of benefits and programs including:

  • Flexible work options
  • Onsite back-up child care center 
  • Elder care program for caring for older family members
  • Corporate learning university
  • Time of transition program for parents returning from parental leave
  • Breast feeding support program and mother’s rooms
  • Adoption assistance
  • Fitness centers and wellness programs
  • Retirement planning

About Blue Cross:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.89 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. We have been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute every year since 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.