New WA Cares Fund premiums begin Jan. 1
|Established by state law in 2019, the WA Cares Fund provides a mandatory long-term care insurance benefit to workers in the state of Washington. This new program, which is the first of its kind in the United States, protects against the economic and social risks of needing long-term care and can be used to purchase long-term care services, including professional care, equipment, home safety evaluations, and/or compensation for family members who provide care, beginning in January 2025.
The Employment Security Department is responsible for determining eligibility and administering the program, along with the Department of Social and Health Services and Health Care Authority. Learn more on the WA Cares Fund website.
The WA Cares Fund will be supported by a premium paid by employees only. Premiums have been set by state law at 0.58% of gross wages, or $0.58 per $100. For example, if an employee earns $50,000 annually, the total annual premium is $290, or $12.08 per paycheck. Employee payroll deductions begin the pay period ending December 31, 2021 and will be reflected on the January 10, 2022 paycheck.
If you purchase long-term care insurance by November 1, 2021, you may apply for an individual exemption to the WA Cares Fund program. The Employment Security Department exemption application is not yet available, but we will alert UW employees by email when the application is posted on their website.
Employees considering purchasing long-term care insurance can find a list of insurance companies approved to sell in Washington state, along with other resources, on the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s Long-term care insurance website.
We will provide additional updates by email and in the UW Insider as information becomes available about the WA Cares Fund payroll premium deductions and the premium exemption process. Information will also be shared on UWHR’s WA Cares Fund webpage.