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Washington Creates First State-Run Long-Term Care Insurance Program

Posted on Monday, May 20, 2019 12:31 AM

This week, the state of Washington created the first ever state-run long-term care insurance program when is was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee.

“This benefit will be available for those who need it when the time comes to face the fact that daily living presents some challenges, and you need just a little help,” said Inslee at the signing ceremony. “This is going to make sure that help is there without bankrupting your family.”

Starting in 2022, a new payroll tax of .58 percent will be introduced to pay for the program.  In 2025 it will begin paying out benefits to residents who have worked three of the past six years or at least ten years with at least five years uninterrupted.  The maximum lifetime payout is $36,500, indexed to inflation.  The money can be used for things like in-home care, assisted living or adaptive equipment. 

Most elderly people will need some type of long-term care, but more than 90 percent of Washington seniors have no long-term care insurance.   This new program is a way for people to get access to the help they need without having to drive themselves into poverty to receive it. 

Source: NAHC Report

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