Thirteen states are now in the process of developing state-mandated long-term care programs. Washington State was the first to develop a program like this, but other states are not far behind.
Last year Washington State made headlines around the nation for its state-run long-term care program, the Washington Cares Fund. The objective of the program is to reduce the liability to the Medicaid system and provide Washingtonians with a benefit for long-term care expenses. The state is funding this program with a payroll tax of 0.58 per $100 of earnings, which will provide participants with a lifetime benefit of $36,500 (adjusted for inflation). Residents could opt out by purchasing their own private Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Although the opt-out period originally ended on November 1, 2021, this put tremendous stress on private long-term care insurers, so the program start was delayed to July 2023.
This week, additional states are making headlines. New York and Pennsylvania are mirroring the WA program. You can read the proposed legislation below:
Neither state is initially offering an opt-out period. The only residents allowed to opt out are those who already own private Long-Term Care Insurance. While this is not set in stone, states are making it abundantly clear that the time to plan for your long-term care expenses is now. States can no longer carry the burden under the Medicaid system.
Our team is already fielding many calls from agents in these states. Plus, an additional 10 states are in the exploratory stages of developing similar programs. We understand the importance of continuing to educate our clients about this legislation and provide assistance in planning for long-term care expenses.
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