Washington’s Controversial Long-Term Care Law


Washington’s long-term care program has begun. Employers are now grabbing 58 cents of every $100 an employee’s payroll to finance that program. In an emergency, or at an appropriate time, employee can use the long-term care they’ve invested in.

However, the useable amount is only $36,500.

The controversial law also says if an employee moves out of state they cannot use what they’ve contributed for their long-term care.

This and other aspects of the law — obviously — are already very unpopular with both employers and employees. Many are crying out for the Legislature to address the problems this law has created. Some are pushing Governor Jay Inslee to delay the implementation of the program. The governor says he does not have the power to do so.

Only the Legislature has the authority to eliminate the requirement that employers pay a premium based on withholding from an employees wages at this time,” Inslee said. “The Legislature has committed to changing the law in January 2022, including delaying the premium collection timelines.”

But it’s going to be awhile before that gets done.

The Legislature will have an opportunity to fix their bill starting on January 10 when they convene for the session,” Inslee said. “It is my hope that they will do that quickly in order to provide clarity to employees and employers. I have considerable confidence that the Legislature will fix this problem.”

In the meantime, the governor says employers will be collecting the premiums.

As an employer, the state of Washington is following the law and will have to begin collecting money from state employee paychecks as of January 1st. We know that many other private employers are doing the same, and others are hoping that the Legislature will change the law,” he said.  “However, if the Legislature fails to do so, employers will still be legally obligated to pay the full amount owed to state ESD to begin the long-term care program.”

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