Watch the Alliance Interview with WA Cares Fund Director Dr. Ben Veghte
Washington state is the first in the nation to implement a publicly-funded long-term care support and services program. The law, passed in 2019, was designed to help address the significant need of the aging population and to reduce the financial burden on the state’s Medicaid program.
Starting January 1st, employers are required to collect payments for the WA Cares Fund from all W-2 employees; $.58 for every $100 in earnings. In return those individuals will become eligible for up to $36,500 in lifetime benefits starting in 2025.
There is a one-time opt out provision for anyone who obtains a qualified long-term care insurance plan before November 1st, but they must apply for an exemption with the Washington State Employment Security Department by December 31, 2021.
Alliance Senior Manager of Communications Leslie Bennett spoke about the highlights and challenges of the program with Director of the WA Cares Fund, Dr. Ben Veghte.