Worker contributions to the WA Cares Fund, the state’s new long-term care insurance program, start this summer. Beginning July 1, 2023, home care agencies must collect WA Cares premiums from employees' wages and report their wages and hours at the end of each quarter. Reporting will begin October 2023 and will follow the same payment process as Paid Leave.
Employers will not pay any share of WA Cares premiums for their employees.
Workers who had private long-term care insurance on or before Nov. 1, 2021, were able to apply to ESD for an exemption from the WA Cares Fund until Dec. 31, 2022. Under current law, these exemptions are permanent and employees who received an approved exemption will not be able to re-enroll in the program.
If employees previously applied for a private insurance exemption and received an approval letter from ESD, their exemption is still valid. They do not need to re-apply.
Employers should keep employee exemption letters on file. Employees who can’t find their exemption letter can download a copy from the Secure Access Washington account they used to apply for the exemption.
Learn more about other WA Cares exemptions by clicking on the hyperlink.
It is the employee’s responsibility to notify employers of any changes to their exemption status. Failure to do so can result in required back-payment of premiums and additional penalties.
WA Cares resources for businesses are available online in the employer toolkit. To stay up to date on new developments and materials, sign up for the WA Cares mailing list.
The WA Cares Fund team will hold a webinar on WA Cares Basics: What Workers Need to Know on Jan. 18, 2023, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., PST, covering the basics of long-term care, how WA Cares works, and audience Q&A. Live captioning and ASL interpretation will be available. Learn more and register at wacaresfund.wa.gov/webinars.
Also, remember to register for the 10th Annual Washington In-Home Services Days on February 1 and 2, 2023.
The HCAOA Washington Chapter, in collaboration with the Home Care Association of WA (HCAW) and the WA State Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (WSHPCO), host this annual advocacy event to support common issues impacting in-home care services.
Register now to participate:
To Find Your District click the link and enter your home address.
Step 1 - Registration
CLICK HERE to register for In-Home Services Day! We will use the information you submit to create a roster and schedule. This information will be made available in our Microsoft OneDrive and accessible by registered participants only.
Step 2 - Contact Your Legislators
CLICK HERE to contact your three state legislators (1 Senator, 2 House of Representatives) through our Legislative Alert Network. We have prepared a template for you to use when you reach out to your legislator that will automatically go out to them.
Step 3 - Legislator Contact & Meeting Request
CLICK HERE to add the time of your meeting with local legislators to the roster and schedule hosted via a OneDrive Sheet. If you have any difficulty with this form or prefer to email updates to us directly, please contact Leslie Emerick or Carissa Linnane.
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