The Washington Legislature and Governor Inslee moved quickly the last week of January to pass and sign House Bills 1732 and 1733, which revised the controversial Long Term Care Act that would have gone into effect January 1, 2022. HB 1732 delayed the start of premium assessments eighteen months, or until July 1, 2023, and expanded eligibility for those individuals close to retirement age so that they may be able to receive prorated benefits based on the number of years they contribute to the fund. HB 1733 expanded the criteria for those eligible for exemptions from the Long-Term Care Act’s assessments and benefits.
Once an individual is “exempt” from the plan, they will not qualify for benefits in the future. These two bills are a start, but they fail to address other fundamental concerns with the Long-Term Care Act. These concerns include, for example, that Washington residents who pay assessments would lose benefits if they move to another state. Other questions and concerns include whether the fund itself would be viable and whether the maximum lifetime benefit would accomplish the legislature’s goals.
This article summarizes aspects of the law and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice for your situation, you should contact an attorney.
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