WA Cares Fund

  • Update: On January 27, 2022, Governor Inslee signed two bills passed by the Legislature making key improvements to the WA Cares Fund. These reforms will address coverage gaps and delay program implementation by 18 months. Changes include:

    • Workers near retirement (born before 1968) will be able to qualify for partial benefits on a pro-rated basis.
    • Workers who live out of state and work in Washington, military spouses, workers on non-immigrant visas, and certain veterans with disabilities will be able to opt out of the program if they choose.
    • Workers will begin contributing to the fund in July 2023.


    The Long Term Care Payroll Tax referred to as the WA Cares Fund goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.  This tax applies to all Washington employees at a rate of .58% of their gross income.  ($24.17 per month for an employee making $50,000 per year).

    There is no minimum age, no maximum age, nor maximum amount paid.  The taxes collected will go into the WA Cares Fund to pay out future Long Term Care benefits.  There is only one way to opt out of this tax.  You must have your own personal Long Term Care policy in place before November 1st, 2021, and apply for an exemption through the Employment Security Department.  

    We have provided the following Frequently Asked Questions, Information and Resources below. Please email benefits@ohsd.net if you have any questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I terminate with AllState due to this uncertainty?

  • What if the state decides to postpone and/or change the LTC?

  • Will I pay the WA Cares Fund (LTC) tax starting in January 2022?

  • I submitted my request for exemption from the WA Cares Fund payroll tax and have not received my approved exemption letter. What should I do?

  • I submitted my request for exemption from the WA Cares Fund payroll tax and have received my approved exemption letter. What do I do now?

  • I have a privately purchased long-term care insurance policy that was in effect prior to 11/1/2021 (i.e. AllState). How do I apply for an exemption from the state tax?

  • What does it mean to be vested in the new LTCA program?

  • What if I leave the workforce before vesting in the new LTCA program?

  • Who does this impact? Is it applicable to me if I'm working as a substitute?

  • How do I opt out of the new LTCA program?

Washington State Long-Term Care Trust Act / WA Cares Fund

  • Summary

  • What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

  • Elements of the State of Washington LTCA Program

  • Opting Out of the State of Washington LTCA Program

  • Private Long-Term Care Insurance Options


  • WA Cares Fund

  • Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner