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Here's some information about the Washington state long-term insurance act, or CARES Act.

CARES ACT WILL BE "RETOOLED" BY LEGISLATURE--BUT WE STILL HAVE TO PAY?

The long-term care, or insurance act, was designed to meet the needs of people who don't have such insurance, for medical issues, etc. down the road. However, it was hastily thrown together by Democrats in the last legislative session and is now in need of an overhaul.

However, the existing law still directs employers to begin collecting premiums from their employees beginning Jan. 1. Each employer will need to decide whether they will implement the law as it stands or await legislative action."

 Because it was a law, all workers in WA state either had to start paying into the CARES tax, or opt-out and find their own.

House Democrats have introduced a bill in this legislative session delaying its implementation until 2023, Republicans will try to pass bills to repeal it entirely. Their reasoning is so many people opted out that there's not enough revenue to fund the program.

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 SO WHERE ARE WE NOW? ARE WE STILL PAYING? REFUNDS?

Many people are wondering if they still have to pay the tax, and others who opted out wonder if they will get a refund for their own long-term care policy.

We go this information from the Employment Security Department, we emailed them. This was their reply to the "do we still have to pay" question:

"Per direction from the governor, ESD will not collect premiums from employers until April 2022 or until the Legislature gives further direction.

However, the existing law still directs employers to begin collecting premiums from their employees beginning Jan. 1. Each employer will need to decide whether they will implement the law as it stands or await legislative action."

So, the state won't collect from your job, but you still have to pay the tax.

As for those who opted out, can they get a refund? ESD told us this:

"ESD will implement the law and any changes the Legislature makes during this session. Under current law, people who chose to purchase a private long-term care insurance policy rather than participate in the state plan aren't eligible for refund or reimbursement."

So til further notice, those 'in' the program still have to pay the tax, and those who opted out don't get a refund.  We will monitor the legislative session to see what happens with this plan.

 

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