Professional Staff Organization

July 15, 2021

WA Cares Fund: details and resources

Washington State’s new mandatory long-term care (LTC) insurance under the WA Cares Fund will pay for long-term care expenses (up to $36,500 in total) for those who reside in Washington State when they require long-term care. The WA Cares Fund will be funded by a new payroll tax, starting January 2, 2022, of 0.58% of gross wages. The tax will affect all employees in  the state unless they take action to opt out.

Washington State allows individuals that have purchased qualifying private LTC insurance before November 1, 2021, to opt out of the WA Cares Fund. Private LTC insurance ranges with respect to coverage and premiums, as compared to the WA Cares Fund and attendant payroll tax. Two typical differences:

  1. Private LTC insurance typically provides coverage in all U.S. states rather than just Washington State, and in some cases outside the U.S. as well.
  2. Private LTC premiums typically must be paid beyond retirement, until claim or death.

As a state institution, UW is not authorized by the Health Care Authority (HCA) to offer group-based long term care insurance programs. The PSO encourages all professional staff to learn about the WA Cares Fund and to decide what option is best for their individual circumstances.

For more information: