Senate passes measure to create long-term care program

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Senate has approved a proposal for a new employee-funded program that would create a benefit to help offset long-term care costs.

The measure passed on a 26-22 vote Tuesday night. Because the Senate amended the measure it now heads back to the House for a final concurrence vote. The House passed it on a 63-33-vote last month.

Under the measure, premiums of 0.58 percent of wages would start being collected from employees on Jan. 1, 2022. Employers would not be required to pay into the program. Starting Jan. 1, 2025, people who need assistance with at least three “activities of daily living” such as bathing, dressing or administration of medication, could tap into the fund to help pay for things like in-home care, a wheelchair ramp or rides to the doctor.

The benefit’s lifetime maximum is $36,500 per person, indexed to inflation.

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