COURTESY IMAGE, WA Cares Fund

COURTESY IMAGE, WA Cares Fund

State long-term care fund projected to be solvent over long term

WA Cares Fund payroll tax to start in July 2023

State Department of Social and Health Services

News release

WA Cares Fund, Washington state’s long-term care program for workers, is projected to be fully funded through June 30, 2098, according to a new study published Oct. 24 by the Office of the State Actuary.

Findings in the updated study, conducted by actuarial research firm Milliman, show that the fund will be fully solvent over the long term under most scenarios including the best-estimate scenario. This means WA Cares is on solid financial ground as it prepares to launch next July and is good news for the many Washingtonians who will need long-term care in their lifetime.

The WA Cares Fund is Washington’s first-in-the nation universal long-term care insurance program. WA Cares makes long-term care accessible for all working Washingtonians as they age — strengthening Washington’s position as one of the best places to live, work and retire.

WA Cares Fund is entirely self-funded by worker contributions and investment earnings on those contributions. Working Washingtonians pay a small portion of their income into the fund during their working years in order to access a $36,500 benefit (adjusted annually for inflation) to help them pay for long-term care services when they need them.

“Seven in 10 of us will need long-term care one day, and most families are financially unprepared to cope with this challenge,” said Benjamin Veghte, Ph.D., WA Cares Fund Director. “Starting in July 2026, Washingtonians who have earned WA Cares benefits and need assistance to live independently due to common life events such as dementia, a serious injury from a fall, or a severe illness will have help. This will make it easier for middle-class families across our state to cope with one of life’s most challenging chapters. WA Cares’ strong financial position means that our children and grandchildren will also be supported by WA Cares and able to age with dignity and independence.”

Key takeaways from the report include the following:

• Under most scenarios evaluated, including the best-estimate, base plan scenario, the program’s premium assessment of 0.58% ($0.58 per $100 of earnings, or about $24/month for the typical covered earner making $50,100/year) is projected to keep the WA Cares Fund solvent over the entire projection period (through June 30, 2098).

• The report considers a broad range of potential scenarios. In some of those scenarios it is possible that, without corrective action, the premium rate required to fund the program over the long term could exceed the current statutory premium rate of 0.58%. It is also important to note that actual results will vary from the projections in the report. The Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Commission, the WA Cares Fund oversight body, utilizes a Risk Management Framework that requires the Office of the State Actuary and the LTSS Trust Commission to continuously monitor the program’s finances. This ensures that any risks are identified promptly, giving the Commission and the Legislature ample time to adjust the program as needed to stay on course.

WA Cares premium collection will begin in July 2023, with benefits becoming available in July 2026.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

t
KC prosecutor’s office supports catalytic converter theft legislation

ESHB 2153 would make catalytic converters traceable and harder to sell illegally.

t
Auburn Police arrest man in Valentine’s Day shooting

Boyfriend of woman shot faces murder charge

King County elections drop box. (File photo)
Auburn School District levy is passing by thin margin

These were the results as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.

File photo
Man, 68, fatally shot in Federal Way on Feb. 13

Killed in 32900 block of Hoyt Road

t
White supremacists accused of double homicide, dumping bodies in Maple Valley

A horse and dog are also dead in this murder investigation.

Washington Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program advocacy group at the State Capitol for HB 1916. (Photo Courtesy of Kindering)
‘When services decline, it’s the kids who pay the price’

Legislative bill would recover funding for the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program - and could save the state millions.

Maddy Lindsay won the Miss Auburn crown last weekend. Photo courtesy City of Auburn.
Miss Auburn and Miss Auburn’s Teen 2024 winners crowned

There were 10 Miss Auburn and 11 Miss Auburn Teen contestants

File photo
Renton’s minimum wage measure is passing in early vote counts

Initiative Measure No. 23-02 would make Renton’s minimum wage one of the highest in the nation.

File photo
Police arrest Federal Way teens in multi-city crime spree

Girls ages 13, 14 and 16 allegedly involved in vehicle theft, malicious mischief and vehicle prowl

King County Crime Dive podcast.
The end of traditional youth jail | KC Crime Dive podcast

In this episode, we look at how King County is moving toward ending traditional youth detention in favor of a new facility for minors or even group homes.

Inert AIR-2 Genie rocket found at Bellevue residence. (Courtesy of Bellevue Police Department)
Missile used to carry nuclear warhead found at Bellevue residence

Bomb squad members inspected the object and learned that it was in fact a Douglas AIR-2 Genie.

Photo by Keelin Everly-Lang/Sound Publishing
Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center.
King County moves toward ending traditional youth detention

Committee members expressed concerns regarding youth leaving the center and causing additional harm. The committee also expressed concerns about youth being at risk of retaliation from community members.