The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) published new rules last week for implementation of the WA Cares Fund, Washington’s new long-term care insurance program. Washington employers will remember that this fund was hastily “paused” by Governor Jay Inslee and the legislature in January, and then modified in the 2022 legislative session to delay the start of collecting premiums until July 1, 2023 (SHB 1732).
The legislature also added four new voluntary exemptions to the program: individuals who work in Washington but live out of state, military spouses, workers with non-immigrant visas, and certain veterans with disabilities (ESHB 1733). ESD is required to adopt rules to implement this Fund.
The newly adopted rules cover the delay of the program, employer responsibilities for premium deductions, employer audits of premium assessments and reporting, and new voluntary exemption applications and requirements. These rules are effective October 29, 2022. Related documents and information can be found on the program rulemaking page.
Tips: Additional information on this program is available on the Washington Cares Fund website. Consult your tax adviser for recommendations on how to implement these payroll deductions.