By now, if you are a wage earner in the State of Washington, you may have been paying a new state tax of 0.58 percent of your earnings for state-run Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance since July 1, 2023. If you currently have your own LTC insurance that has been in effect since before November 1, 2021, you were able to apply for a lifetime exemption to this new stated tax. However, that opt-out window closed on December 31, 2022.

If you applied in time and received that exemption, especially if you have changed jobs or your current employer has changed ways your paycheck is created, check your pay stub. Look for a line that says, “Washington Cares Fund.” If you see deductions on your current paystub for this line item, present your approval letter from the Employment Securities Department to your employer to receive the exemption. If you cannot find the letter, you can log into your WA Cares exemption account and download a copy. Unfortunately, any premiums that have been collected since July 1, 2023, will not be returned to you.

Things you should know: This program is not portable meaning it cannot be used if you move out of state. However, limited groups of Washington state employees associated with out-of-state or temporary in-state residency may now be eligible for a one-time exemption from this LTC payroll tax.

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