REMINDER: New long-term care tax begins Jan. 1, 2022
AGC members should remember that premium assessment on employees’ wages to fund the state’s new long-term care program begins January 1, 2022. Also, note the Nov. 1, 2021, deadline to request an opt-out from the program.
In 2019, the Legislature established the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust (LTSST) program, which will provide up to $36,500 in lifetime benefits for eligible beneficiaries to apply to the cost of their long-term care. The LTSST program is funded through a 0.58-percent premium assessment on an employee’s wages, paid by employees. The premium assessment begins January 1, 2022, and eligible beneficiaries may begin receiving benefits on January 1, 2025. For more information on what is now called the Washington Cares Fund, click here. For an analysis of the tax – and the possibility that it will be increased – read this article from the Washington Research Council.
There is an opportunity for anyone who will be paying the tax to opt-out of the state program, but that route is becoming increasingly difficult. To opt-out of the state plan, someone would have to have private long-term care insurance before Nov. 1, 2021. To learn more about the opt-out option and key dates from DSHS, click here. Currently, many private insurance companies have stopped selling projects for individuals to opt-out from the state program, as they have been overwhelmed with requests.