Update on WA State’s New Long-Term Care Tax

Woman hugging father in wheelchairIn 2019, Washington State passed a new tax law that created the nation’s first-ever state-run long-term care insurance program. Last year the state legislature voted to delay the payroll tax 18 months after it was originally to take effect January 1, 2022.

Beginning July 1, 2023, each Washington employee will be assessed a premium of .58% based on their wages for long-term care insurance. There are some ways to qualify for an exemption and more details can be found on the WA Cares Fund website.

Once they become eligible, employees can receive approved long-term care services of up to $36,500 (adjusted annually up to inflation) over the course of their lifetimes to spend on covered services.

To be eligible, you must be 18 years old, a resident of Washington, have been either temporarily or permanently vested (meaning you have contributed taxes over time or at some point), and have been identified by the Department of Social and Health Services to need assistance with at least three daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or eating.

Benefits begin for qualified beneficiaries in July 2026. To qualify as permanently vested, employees must have worked in Washington for at least 10 years; those nearing retirement could potentially pay into the system for several years yet still be ineligible for benefits.

Perhaps the biggest consideration is the benefit cap of $36,500, which equates to approximately four months of living expenses in a nursing home or assisted living facility in the Olympia area. Having supplemental Long-Term Care policy may ensure you have the coverage you need and/or desire.

Our team here at OFS Financial Services is here to assist you in determining what strategies and policies will work best with your goals and lifestyle.

For a free, no obligation consultation, contact Jason Andrew, Financial Advisor or Nikki Francis Client Services Coordinator at (360) 596-9788 or at or