The state’s long term care insurance program for workers, WA Cares Fund, is projected to be fully funded through June 30, 2098. This announcement comes after a study was published on October 24 by the Office of State Actuary.
The goal of WA Cares Fund is to make long-term care accessible to all working Washingtonians as they age. The program is entirely self-funded by worker contributions and investment earnings on contributions.
“Seven in 10 of us will need long-term care one day, and most families are financially unprepared to cope with this challenge,” said Benjamin Veghte, Ph.D., WA Cares Fund Director.
According to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), working Washingtonians will pay a portion of their income into the fund during working years in order to access a benefit of $36,500, which will be adjusted annually for inflation, to assist with paying for long-term care once services are needed.
In July 2023, WA Cares Fund premium collections will begin, with benefits becoming available in July of 2026.
“Starting in July 2026, Washingtonians who have earned WA Cares benefits and need assistance to live independently due to common life events such as dementia, a serious injury from a fall, or a severe illness will have help,” said Veghte.
The study findings that suggest WA Cares Fund is on solid financial footing in preparation for its launch next summer were conducted by Milliman, an actuarial research firm. The report contains a vast range of possible scenarios, and under most scenarios evaluated, the program’s premium assessment of 0.58% (or $0.58 per $100 of earnings) is projected to keep WA Cares Fund solvent under the entire projection period.
“This will make it easier for middle-class families across our state to cope with one of life’s most challenging chapters,” said Veghte. “WA Cares’ strong financial position means that our children and grandchildren will also be supported by WA Cares and able to age with dignity and independence.”
For more information visit https://wacaresfund.wa.gov/