How does Washington’s long-term care insurance program work?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2019 | Estate Planning

Long-term care can be extremely expensive. While long-term care insurance does exist, premiums are often too high for people within the low or middle-income brackets. That’s why Washington has introduced the Long-Term Care Trust Act, which affords benefits to eligible people to cover long-term care needs. Forbes offers more insight into this new legislation.

What does the Long-Term Care Trust Act Provide?

This program will offer benefits to cover things like medication assistance and help with personal care and other activities. This can include having a home healthcare aide visit you in your home or placement within a nursing facility. The full amount of benefits a person may receive is $36,500. While this amount of money is no doubt beneficial, long-term care costs can be quite expensive.

How will benefits be funded?

The state will derive benefits from an employment tax increase of 0.58%. The increase is scheduled for January 2022, while benefits will be available in 2025. Until this time, people in need of long-term care assistance will need to secure it using other financial methods. To ensure sustainability, Washington state is not permitted to use long-term care funds for other purposes. Additionally, benefits can only be paid using this fund, meaning outside funds may not be used.

Who is eligible?

Once benefits are made available, only certain people will be able to access them. To be eligible, a person must be a resident of Washington state. Age restrictions also apply, as applicants must be at least 18 years of age to receive benefits. They must also have paid into payroll tax for at least ten years without interruption. If not, they must have worked for at least three of the last six years and must have worked at least 500 hours per year during that time.