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Inside Olympia – Long-Term Care Insurance

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A new statewide program that auto-enrolls Washington workers in a state-government-run long-term care insurance program, passed by the Legislature in 2019, is set to take effect in 2022 — setting people scrambling, as they realize the tax to fund the insurance will be taken out of their paychecks.

The state plan allows people to seek an alternative long-term care plan in the private market. But, any alternative must be approved by the state, and most private insurers, swamped by requests, are no longer offering plans.

Meanwhile, legislators and stakeholders on all sides of the issue are weighing in, and legislative tweaks to the program will almost certainly be proposed during the 2022 legislative session.

This week, host Austin Jenkins goes in-depth on the issue with state government and legislative leaders. On the program: Ben Veghte, a veteran of state and national long-term care policy who heads the Washington Cares Fund, which is set to administer the plan; plus, State Senators Karen Keiser and Curtis King, who serve on the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Commission, created to advise and make recommendations on the state’s plan.

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