by Mike Nelson
A package of two bills to delay and expand exemptions for the Long Term Care Trust Act (Long Term Care Act) were signed by Governor Inslee on January 27, 2022
HB 1732: This bill delays the implementation of the Long Term Care Act by 18 months to a start date of July 1, 2023. When benefits become available will be delayed by 18 months to July 1, 2025. This means no ongoing payroll deductions will be collected and employers who collected taxes under the original law are required to refund those collections.
This bill also prorates benefits for individuals born before January 1, 1968, who do not meet the vesting requirements for the Act.
HB 1733: This bill adds some additional exemptions to the program. There are now exemptions for certain veterans and their partners. Non-immigrant temporary workers are also exempted from the Act. Employees who work in Washington but maintain a primary residence outside of Washington will now also be exempted from the program.
Neither of these laws expanded the general opt-out provisions from the Long Term Care Act nor extended the November 1, 2021 deadline for when private insurance coverage needed to have started. Discussions will continue to finalize future changes that would raise the payroll tax rate in order to fund the program as well as add a requirement to verify continued private coverage for those who have received an exemption.
Mike Nelson is WSCPA Manager of Government Affairs. You can contact Mike via email here.