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Long-Term Care

City of Tacoma Government Employee Long-Term Care Information

This web page pertains to City of Tacoma General Government and Tacoma Public Utility employees only. Citizens seeking information on this program should visit WA Cares Fund Website.

 

Visit the Long-Term Care Insurance Special Enrollment Web Page

 

WA Cares Fund Overview

The WA Cares Fund is a mandatory long-term care insurance benefit established by Washington state law (Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Act) in 2019. The WA Cares Fund will be supported by a premium paid by employees only. Starting January 2025, these benefits may be used for a range of services, including professional care at home or at a licensed facility; training, pay and support for family members who provide care; memory care; home-delivered meals; rides to a health care provider; adaptive equipment and technology; home safety evaluation; and emergency alert devices.

WA Cares Mandatory Employee Payroll Deductions Begin January 1, 2022

The premium has been set by state law at 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. Unlike other payroll taxes, there is no cap on the wages subject to this tax.

WA Cares One-Time Premium (Opt-Out) Exemption Opportunity

State law allows you to apply for an individual exemption to opt-out of the State Long-Term Care program between October 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022. The exemption is only available if:

  • You have purchased long-term care insurance prior to November 1, 2021; and
  • You are 18 years of age or older on the date of your exemption application. 

Applications for an exemption must be submitted to the Employment Security Department (ESD); The exemption application is not yet available, but we will update this page and alert City employees by email when the application process is posted on the ESD website.

 

An employee exempted from the WA Cares Fund premium by ESD is permanently ineligible from receiving benefits under the program and cannot rejoin the program at a later date. ESD will approve or deny a premium exemption based on criteria established in state law.

 

Employees considering purchasing long-term care insurance to opt-out of the State program, can find a list of insurance companies approved to sell in Washington state, along with other resources, on the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner's Long-term care insurance website.

 

An employee who obtains an approved exemption from the ESD is required to provide written notification to all current and future employers of the exemption. ESD does not notify the City of your premium exemption.

 

 

Important Update To Employees

Opting Out of the State Long-Term Care Program


Due to the impact of this State legislation on the private long-term care insurance market, limiting options for many individuals who are interested in opting out of the State program, the City is coordinating to offer an alternative long-term care plan through Trustmark that includes a voluntary-employee paid individual life insurance policy option that has a long-term care rider. See the recorded videoTrustmark flyer and sample rate sheet (updated) for details on a comparison of this voluntary benefit plan offering to the State program. More detailed information will be sent out soon regarding this individual voluntary benefit offering and upcoming Special Enrollment window which will take place from September 22 - October 13, 2021.

*NOTE: This City of Tacoma coordinated program with Trustmark will not be available to temporary employees and part-time employees scheduled to work less than 20 hours week.  In addition, employees represented by Local 6, Local 26, and Local 31, are not eligible for this program as they already have an offering available through Trustmark through their union affiliations.  It will also not be available to Tacoma Public Library employees as they have a long-term care benefit offering available to them through UNUM and should contact their Human Resources Department with questions.

 

WA Cares Benefit Amount

The benefit provided the program provides benefits of up to a $100 a day, up to a maximum lifetime benefit of $36,500 (adjusted annually for inflation).

 

WA Cares Program Eligibility
In order to be eligible for WA Cares Fund benefits, an employee must have worked and contributed to the fund for:

  • A total of 10 years without an interruption of five or more consecutive years; or
  • Three of the last six years at the time you apply for the WA Cares Fund benefit; and
  • Worked at least 500 hours per year. 

Additionally, to be eligible for benefits an employee must be at least 18 years old and a current resident of Washington.


More information
Visit the links under Employee Resources for more information.

 

This page will be updated with more information on the notification process when available.

 

Primary Contact

Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)

Email

  

City Contact

Benefits Office

Email

(253) 573-2345

  

Optional Individual LTC Benefit Offering (Trustmark)

Trustmark Plan Comparison to State Program

 

Sample Rate Sheet (updated)

 

Recorded Video

 

Employee Resources

WA Cares Fund Flyer

 

WA Cares Fund Website

 

DSHS LTSS Trust Act Flyer

 

DSHS LTSS Website

 

Employee Communications

Washington State LTC Legislation May 2021

 

Washington State LTC Legislation (Local 6) May 2021

 

Washington State LTC Legislation August 2021