Here are the latest figures for WA Cares Fund exemption requests, which were provided to me by the Washington State Department of Employment Security. Learn more about the WA Cares Fund, the state’s mandatory long-term care program and payroll tax, on the state’s website and in my previous blogs and opinion pieces.
Exemption statistics as of October 21, 2021
Total number of exemption requests received: 227,402
Approved applications: 61 785
Incomplete applications: 624
Total number of requests processed: 62,409
Requests processed as a percentage of the total: 27.4%
We continue to urge lawmakers to repeal this flawed long-term care law in the next legislative session. Changes and delays cannot fix the WA Cares Fund, especially since lawmakers have disrupted the insurance market as they have. And it is clear that people do not want this law: it is not patient-centered and its payroll taxes are straining household budgets.
I keep hearing complaints from people trying to apply that the request is cumbersome and confusing. See my step by step instructions here. I’ve also heard that the approval process has slowed down a bit. While I saw quick weeklong approval times last week, this week someone told me that an application submitted on October 6 was still in limbo. I also know from private insurance providers that they are still processing their private long term care insurance claims, which suggests that the number of people trying to opt out of the public program and payroll taxes will increase. .