Washington: State Cares Fund Exemption Period Closing Soon!


All Employers with WA Employees


January 1, 2022


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

The recently enacted WA Cares Fund creates mandatory long-term care insurance for workers. Workers, not employers, fund the program through payroll deductions equal to $0.58 per $100 of earnings. Employers must start facilitating these payroll deductions as of January 1, 2022, and begin reporting employee wages to the state on a quarterly basis. However, employees can opt out of the program if they purchase long-term care insurance before November 1, 2021, and apply to the state for an exemption between October 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022. This is the only exemption period available to employees. There is no limit to employee contributions, but there is a $36,500 lifetime cap (adjusted for inflation) on the program benefits an employee may receive.

The state will provide applicable employees with a formal exemption approval letter that the employees must in turn provide to their current and future employers in order to abstain from the required payroll deductions. Once employees are exempted, they are unable to reenter the program.

Although employers do not contribute to the employee’s financial obligations under the program, employers are subject to penalties if they do not make the required payments on behalf of their employees. Self-employed individuals are not required to participate, but may opt-in to the program. Benefits are available for qualifying employees beginning January 1, 2025.

Action Items

  1. Review the WA Cares Fund website here for more information, as well as the.
  2. Have payroll processes updated to comply with the new deduction and employer reporting requirements.
  3. Review the employer toolkit for communications to share with employees regarding upcoming payroll changes and program requirements.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

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