WA Cares Fund Overview
The WA Cares Fund is a mandatory long-term care insurance benefit established by Washington state law. Starting January 2025, benefits can be used to purchase long-term care services.
Mandatory employee payroll deductions begin January 2022
The WA Cares Fund will be supported by a premium paid by employees of 0.58% of gross wages, or $0.58 per $100. For example, if an employee earns $50,000 annually, the total annual premium is $290 or $12.08 per paycheck. Employees will see the first payroll deduction on the January 10, 2022, paycheck.
Limited exemption opportunity
State law allows you to apply for an exemption to the program between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022. The exemption is only available if you have purchased long-term care insurance by November 1, 2021. An employee exempted from the WA Cares Fund premium by ESD is permanently ineligible from receiving benefits under the program and cannot rejoin.
Applications for an exemption are submitted to the Employment Security Department (ESD). The exemption application is not yet available but will be posted on the ESD website.
A list of insurance companies approved to sell in Washington state is available on the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s Long-Term Care Insurance website.
If approved for a premium exemption by ESD, employees are required to notify Payroll to ensure no payroll deduction is taken. ESD does not notify CWU of the premium exemption. It is your responsibility to notify CWU.
More information is available on ESD’s WA Cares Fund website.