- Limit the time for exemption to those who have purchased long-term care insurance by November 1, 2021,
- Require the program to offer employers educational materials via a website in English and other primary languages,
- Mandate the LTSS Commission to work with insurers to develop long-term care supplemental benefit products, and
While there are many outstanding questions related to this new payroll deduction mandate effective January 1, 2022, Washington Retail obtained answers to a few key questions important to the employer community through the Washington Cares Fund (program name for the new mandate).
- How is the self-employed exemption defined? The definition is the same as it is for those who are exempt from Paid Family Medical Leave based on the reference in RCW 50B.04.010 (7-9). Opt-in is available with time limitations.
- Unlike the Paid Family Medical Leave with a deduction limit tied to the Social Security tax ($142,800 in 2021), the $0.58 per $100 of earnings premium rate applies to the whole paycheck without a ceiling.
- Though the contribution rate is based on earnings, the lifetime maximum benefit of $36,500 with cost-of-living built-in is the same for all.
- The benefit is not portable from state to state. In other words, Washington state workers who move out of state or retire to a different state will not be able to access benefits regardless of the amount of their contribution.