Despite Projections, ‘New’ Study Claims WA CARES Act Now Solvent
This summer, after an extensive evaluation of Washington state's controversial CARES Act, or long-term care insurance plan, it was found to be insolvent even before it began.
Now, new state study claims CARES Act is solvent, or able to provide money for intended uses.
In June, the Washington Policy Center published a report showing the plan, whose mission is to provide insurance for older persons who may have long-term care costs, was not financially capable.
The CARES Act said the Policy Center, was already short of funding even before the proposed taxes and plan go into effect in the summer of 2023:
- "The WA Cares program is insolvent before it begins, facing a $15 billion shortfall.
- Between 2022-2053, workers will pay more than $30 billion for the state to realize net savings of just over $1.2 billion, assuming administrative costs don't increase."
The Center's extensive report on the CARES Act showed numerous areas where it falls short.
However, now the state claims a new evaluation by the State Actuary shows it's capable of its goals and is fully solvent through 2098. But we noticed on Page 5 of this new report, it appears in order to meet the demands, the assessment, or taxes, on workers who pay into the plan, has to be higher than what is currently allowed by law.
From the Actuary report itself:
"We estimate the WA CARES Fund will require a level premium assessment on gross wages between 0.52 and 0.63 percent for the baseline analysis to cover program expenditures on the 75-year period between 2023 and 2097. Please note, under current law, the maximum premium assessment allowed is 0.58 percent."
So, it appears for the plan to be solvent, like the Actuary report claims, it is likely the premiums paid by WA residents will have to go up, and lawmakers will have to be the ones to do it--given current law doesn't allow premiums above 0.58 percent of gross monthly wages.
It appears this is an attempt by DSHS to make citizens believe the program will actually work, when multiple studies, including the one by the WPC, show it is far from solvent.
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