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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.

View their conversation here and find out more about WA Cares here.

Published: October 4, 2021

About Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance's work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

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