WA Cares Fund Premium Program Delayed

Posted December 28, 2021 – Gov. Jay Inslee is Pressing Pause on the Washington Cares Fund Premium Program

Gov. Jay Inslee, together with Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, released the following statements on delaying the Washington Cares Fund premium assessment:

“I have been in ongoing discussions with legislators about the long-term care bill, which is set to begin collecting funds in January. This bill will help provide much-needed care and coverage for Washingtonians as they age,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “However, legislators have identified some areas that need adjustments and I agree. We need to give legislators the opportunity to make refinements to the bill. Therefore, I am taking measures within my authority and ordering the state Employment Security Department not to collect the premiums from this program from employers before they come due in April.”

Delaying the program means that the state will not collect funds until issues have been properly vetted. In his statement, Inslee states that “while legislation is under consideration to pause the withholding of LTC fees, employers will not be subject to penalties and interest for not withholding fees from employees’ wages during this transition.”

According to Sen. Andy Billig and Speaker Laurie Jinkins, pausing the program so that it can better serve disabled veterans, military spouses, non-residents, and retirees will improve the program. This pause will also give the LTC Commission the ability to study and “make recommendations about residents who move out of Washington to retire and assure that those who have opted out of the program maintain their private insurance policies.”

Legislators also support employers pausing premium collections from their employees in Washington. They stated, “while we cannot direct employers not to collect, we strongly encourage them to pause on collecting premiums from employees, giving us time to pass legislation extending implementation dates until next year.”

This extra time is supposed to give lawmakers time to find solutions and make revisions to the Fund that allows “Washingtonians to age with dignity in their own homes.”

Click HERE to read more about how this could impact Washington residents. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

David Stryzewski, CEO | CSA, NSSA

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