Navigate Washington’s New Long Term Care Act (employees start paying mandatory premiums January of 2022)
In 2019, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Long Term Care Act into law. In January 2022, all employees in the state will begin paying premiums.
- Check out this easy-to-follow video
- Download the employee and employer guides
- Download sample employee communication template (page 2 of this)
- Read through the Q&A below (including vetted sources for obtaining policies)
- Contact Archbright’s HR hotline if you need to talk through questions [for BHT members only]
Q 1: What does this mean for employers?
Employers need to get ready.
- Educate your employees about the premium payments beginning soon
- Contact your payroll provider to ensure they are setup to collect, report, and remit premium payments
- Incorporate asking about long term care (LTC) exemptions into your new employee paperwork (so you know if you do not need to remit premiums for an exempt individual)
- Consider offering a supplemental employer-sponsored plan: We encourage members to work with their insurance representative or to reach out to us, we are happy to help!
- Group Policies: We have partnered with Allstate to provide a Life + LTC policy. This can be quoted by brokers and/or we can connect you with our team who can provide quotes for groups with 6 or more applicants (can include spouses/partners of employees). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or help.
Q1: How will employees benefit from this program?
- Each person who is eligible is entitled to a lifetime benefit of $36,500 to pay for long-term services and supports (in Washington state).
- Some examples: Professional in-home care, nursing home stays, adaptive equipment, assistive technology, home accessibility modification, home-delivered meals, rides to the doctor
- 7 out of 10 of us will need long-term care
- Long-Term Care is expensive (estimating $33k to $131k annually depending on type of care)
- The program may not cover all care that you might need
- Program benefits are ONLY available in the state of Washington (so if an individual moves and receives care elsewhere, they would not be entitled to the benefit)
Q2: What does this mean for employees?
We will all pay for the program: Starting January 2022, 0.58% of all wages will be paid as a premium. This will come out of their paycheck as a deduction and will be paid to Washington State Employment Security, which is administering the program.
Use this calculator to estimate how much your premium will be through the WA Cares Fund.
Note: Self-employed individuals are not automatically included and would be required to OPT-IN.
All of your long-term care costs might not be covered: Long-term care is expensive (estimating $33k to $131k annually depending on type of care). The program will cover costs up to $36,500 lifetime benefit for expenses within Washington state. Consider adding a supplemental long-term care policy to cover more expenses and/or allow you to pay for benefits in other states.
Q3: Will everyone be eligible for the benefit?
No. To receive the benefit, you must have contributed:
- At least 10 years without a break of 5 or more years, or
- 3 of the past 6 years and have a need for assistance with activities of daily living
If you are nearing the age of retirement (i.e. less than 10 working years remaining), you may ever be eligible for this benefit.
Q4: Do I have to?
Yes, and no. All employees will be required to pay the premium UNLESS they opt-out permanently. There is a one-time opt-out period.
Q5: How do I opt-out permanently?
Individuals who have a long-term care policy in place by November 1, 2021, can opt-out of the program permanently and not pay the mandatory premium (0.58%). This is the only time that individuals will be able to opt-out, and individuals will not be able to opt back in.
Q6: What qualifies as a policy that will allow me to opt-out permanently?
There have not been specific requirements published to date. However, meeting the minimum requirements of the State Policy and ensuring that an individual policy is considered a long-term care insurance policy in the state of Washington is a good start in addition to talking with your insurance broker. Don’t have one? We have a few trusted sources listed below.
Q8: Does Business Health Trust offer LTC insurance?
Business Health Trust recognizes that there are many variables to consider when making an LTC decision. We encourage members to work with their insurance representative or to reach out to us, we are happy to help!
Group Policies: We have partnered with Allstate to provide a Life + LTC policy. This can be quoted by brokers and/or we can connect you with our team who can provide quotes for groups with 6 or more applicants (can include spouses/partners of employees). Please email email@example.com for more information or help.
Individual Policies: We have vetted the marketplace and recognize the following industry experts to help members find the right solution:
Have an HR or Safety Question? No problem!
Available only to members, BHT members have unlimited access to Archbright’s HR and Safety Hotlines. Call or email as many times as you need to, every weekday from 8am to 5pm, for real-world advice, resources, and a plan of action for the issues facing your workplace.
There are also hundreds of policies, forms and templates available!
Whether you need guidance through a complex situation, answers to specific questions, or a trusted colleague to talk through an issue, Archbright’s team is available to help.
HR Hotline | 206.329.1120 ext. 2 or 509.381.1635 ext. 2 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety Hotline | 206.329.1120 ext. 4 or 509.381.1635 ext. 4 | email@example.com
Please contact HR@businesshealthtrust.com if you have questions about utilizing this incredible benefit.
Dine, Shop, Travel and Save
You and all your employees can save money on dining, shopping, and travel – as well as gym memberships, childcare and much more, with free access to the Passport Corporate program. To sign up, visit passportcorporate.com and register your at-work email address. You’ll get a confirmation email with your new Passport membership card number. Download the app, enter your new card number and start saving! If you have questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Save Money on Credit Card Processing Services
Our members can save 10%–40% on credit card processing fees, including point-of-sale, online and mobile transactions through Polaris Payments. Get a free, no-obligation rate review by emailing email@example.com
Save Money on Outsourced IT Services
Through our partnership with Latitudes, Business Health Trust members can save on high quality outsourced IT support, and receive a comprehensive GAP analysis report – free of charge. To get your free report, contact Latitudes at firstname.lastname@example.org