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WA Cares Fund Covers Long-Term Care for State Residents

Posted Sep 09, 2021 12:55 PM
The WA Cares Fund is the nation's first public state-operated long-term care insurance program.

What you need to do as an employer

Nonprofits should provide this slide deck to your employees for a helpful summary of what they need to know.  The long-term care coverage is being funded by a new employee-paid premium of $0.58 for every $100 earned. Starting on January 1, 2022, nonprofits need to begin deducting this amount from their employees’ paychecks.

Information for employees

Benefits: You will be able to receive coverage for costs of long-term up to a current maximum of $36,500 over a lifetime. This daily coverage is similar to commercial plans. The value of this benefits will increase over time to keep pace with inflation. Benefits from the WA Cares Fund will become available on January 1, 2025.

Coverage is paid for by a monthly premium deducted from your paycheck. Those that earn less, pay less. For example, if your annual salary is $50,000, you will pay a premium of $290 a year. An employee earning $600,000 will pay $3,480. This tool will help you estimate your premium.

Opt-out option: You can choose to opt out of the program if you purchase and maintain a commercial long-term care coverage that provides benefits at the same level or above. However, you only have until November 1, 2021 to decide whether you want to do this. Read further about requesting an exemption.

It’s important to keep in mind that opting out is permanent. You cannot change your mind and opt back in. Carefully consider the long-term costs and benefits being provided by WA Cares Fund or private insurance companies. Also, you may want to opt out if you do not plan to live in Washington State for the rest of your life.

Visit the WA Cares Fund website to learn more about this program.

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