Washington first state with public long-term care
Earlier this year, Washington State’s Long Term Care Trust Act went into effect, creating the nation’s first publicly funded long term care benefit.
Washington lawmakers developed the LTC Trust Act in order to protect their state budget from the exorbitant costs of Medicaid-covered long-term care. The trust will be funded by a mandatory 0.58% payroll tax on all W2 wage earners. The Washington trust has a lifetime benefit maximum (annually adjusted) designed to cover approximately one year of long-term care.
Washington residents who had previously purchased LTC insurance had the option to opt out. However, short notice of the deadline created a last-minute rush to purchase private care insurance.
Other states considering a LTC social insurance program include California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and New York. With the Washington bill in place, there’s a framework that may help states accelerate their plans.
Your estate planning attorney can help you and your family plan for future long-term care needs. Talk to your advisors about how you’ll pay for long-term care and ways to protect family assets.