Governor Inslee Signs Bill Delaying Washington’s Long-Term Care Program

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law an 18-month delay of the state’s new long-term care program that creates a a defined benefit to help offset the costs of such care.

Because the bill has an emergency clause, it takes effect immediately.

The payroll tax that pays for the benefit is now delayed until July 1, 2023, and access to the benefit to pay for things like in-home care, home modifications like wheelchair ramps and rides to the doctor is delayed from Jan. 1, 2025, until July 1, 2026.

The lifetime maximum of the benefit is $36,500, with annual increases to be determined based on inflation, and the program is funded by workers, who will pay a premium of .58% of total pay per paycheck.

Association of Washington Business commented on today’s signing:

AWB Statement on WA Cares Pause

Lawmakers must use this additional time to address significant issues with long-term care program

OLYMPIA — Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, issued the following statement on Gov. Inslee’s signing today of legislation delaying and modifying the state’s long-term care program:

“We’re pleased that lawmakers pushed pause on a program that created confusion and concern for so many employers and employees, but they can’t stop here. It’s critical that lawmakers now use the additional time provided by the delay to work with employers, regulators, and private-sector insurance providers to find real solutions to the real issues surrounding long-term care. Those issues include the long-term solvency of the program, insurance regulations and the role of the private sector insurance market, and even the definition of long-term care.  Delaying the start of the program and allowing for some additional populations to opt out is a good start, but it’s not the full solution.”



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