Friday, September 17, 2021
Morris Klein, elder law attorney, friend and frequent contributor to this blog sent me links to two articles. Washington's first-in-the-nation long-term care program starts in January, with opt-out deadline soon and Payroll Tax Will Fund New Washington Long-Term Care Program.
The WA Cares fund was created by [their] Legislature in 2019 as a safety net for the seven in 10 people who will ultimately need professional or personal care at some point in their lives.
The only opportunity to opt out of the program is fast approaching, raising questions for workers who may be deciding whether getting a private policy is better or worse. Here, we lay out answers to some of the common questions.
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Part of the motivation for creating the worker-funded program is the fact that private long-term care insurance policies can be too expensive for retirees to keep paying premiums on until they need to use them.
"Beginning in 2025, the plan will pay benefits to enrollees who need help with non-hospital-based health care expenses." "As more families applied for Medicaid, [Washington's legislators] saw a greater share of the state’s future budgets going to health care expenses. So, in 2019, the legislature ... opted to put the state in the long-term care business."
The articles are worth reading to learn more about how the program will work. Considerations for employees in deciding whether to stay in or opt out can be found here.