Washington State Passes First Publicly Funded Long-Term Care Program

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law the Long-Term Care Trust Act, creating the Nation’s first social insurance program for long-term care services and supplies.

Program Details: Effective January 1, 2025

The program will provide long-term care services beginning January 1, 2025 for individuals who need support with at least three of the following activities of daily living:

  • Medication Management

  • Personal Hygiene

  • Eating

  • Toileting

  • Cognitive Impairment

  • Transfer Assistance

  • Body Care

  • Bathing

  • Ambulation/Mobility and

  • Dressing

An individual will qualify for long-term care services if the person:

  • Is at least 18 years old,

  • Is a Washington resident,

  • Has paid the long-term services and supports premiums for an equivalent of either 10 years without interruption of five or more consecutive years, or three of the last six years.

Individuals who qualify will be eligible to receive a maximum lifetime benefit of $36,500, which can be used to pay for:

  • Professional in-home care or residential living expenses,

  • Wheelchair ramps, emergency alert devices, and other needed equipment,

  • Training and pay for family members providing caregiving duties,

  • Meal programs, transportation to the doctor, dementia education and other services.

Program Contributions: Beginning January 1, 2022

The program is funded by a payroll tax of 0.58% of one percent of the individual’s wages ($.58 for every $100 earned up to 1% of pay).  Contributions will begin January 1, 2022, which three years in advance of the program providing benefits for eligible individuals.

What should employers do now?

Employers don’t need to take any immediate action.  As with any new law, the state agencies will release more guidance closer to the effective date.  Stay tuned for more updates.

For more information on The Long-Term Care Trust Act, and rationale behind the law, please see the FACT Sheet released by the Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging (W4A).

The Author
Karen Hooper

VP, Senior Compliance Manager

Karen Hooper, CEBS, CMS, Fellow, is a Vice President and Senior Compliance Manager working closely with the Lead Benefit Counsel in Newfront's Employee Benefits division. She works closely with internal staff and clients regarding compliance issues, providing information, education and training.

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