Hundreds apply for exemption from Washington’s long run care tax

Some 95,000 residents in Washington state utilized for exemptions from a brand new tax aimed toward funding a brand new long-term well being care insurance coverage program.

These purposes got here between Oct. 1 and Oct. 8, the primary week individuals might choose out, in response to the state Employment Safety Division.

On Oct. 1, the primary day individuals might apply for such an exemption, the web site crashed earlier than midday and was down for a number of hours. The division over the summer season estimated that as many as 310,000 have been anticipated to choose out.

The WA Cares Fund, as this system is thought, imposes a 0.58% payroll tax on staff’ complete earnings with no wage cap, starting Jan. 1, 2022. Those that acquire a personal long-term care insurance coverage coverage by Nov. 1 can request an exemption. Employees who’re self-employed can choose in to this system however aren’t required to take action.

Beginning in 2025, individuals shall be eligible to obtain a most of $36,500 in long-term care advantages. The cash can be utilized for issues similar to nursing residence care, home-delivered meals, and dementia assist.

To be eligible, a resident should have been working at the least 500 hours per yr and paying into the fund at the least three of the earlier six years. Individuals should additionally want help with at the least three actions of day by day life, similar to consuming, bathing, dressing, or medication administration.

Demand for personal long-term care insurance policies was so excessive over the summer season that insurance coverage firms briefly put a halt to promoting them within the state.

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Whereas a personal coverage would value a number of thousand extra {dollars} per yr than the payroll tax, in addition they provide considerably greater advantages.

Based on the Washington Workplace of Insurance coverage Commissioner (OIC), there are 10 firms licensed to promote stand-alone personal insurance policies within the state and one other 22 that may promote long-term care insurance policies as riders on life insurance coverage insurance policies.

The OIC in August stated one firm, whose identify it didn’t reveal, had already obtained 66,000 purposes for long-term care insurance policies because the starting of the yr. The identical firm bought 8,000 such insurance policies in Washington throughout 2020.

The American Affiliation for Lengthy-Time period Care Insurance coverage says about 48,000 insurance policies are bought nationwide annually.

The 2 most visited pages on the OIC web site, “What qualifies as long-term care insurance coverage?” and “Lengthy-term care insurance coverage firms authorized to promote in Washington state,” have been averaging some 10,000 views per day over the summer season.

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