The mandatory withholdings for the WA Cares Fund were implemented on July 1, 2023. Originating from the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Trust Act, signed by Governor Jay Inslee on April 21, 2021, this state-operated long-term care insurance initiative requires employers to deduct premiums from their employees' payrolls, unless proof of exemption is provided. The enactment followed amendments outlined in H.R. 1732 and H.R. 1733, signed by Governor Inslee on January 27, 2022, which postponed and modified the withholding until July 1, 2023.
Under the program, employees must contribute to the WA Cares Fund, with premiums amounting to $0.58 per $100 of earnings, subject to reassessment every other year. The fund provides a lifetime benefit of $36,500, indexed for inflation, available for long-term care services, whether delivered at home, through a licensed residential facility, or a nursing facility. While employers are not obliged to contribute to premiums or the fund itself, they are responsible for accurate withholding and remittance of premiums.
Click here to read more from HCAOA Associate Member Littler.