The Long-Term Care Trust Act


Dear Fortiphi friends- we wanted to take a few minutes to explain the most recent Washington State Long-Term Care Trust Act that will be
taking effect January 1, 2022. This makes us the first state in the nation to create a publicly funded insurance program that will provide
working residents of Washington an opportunity to vest into a basic level of LTC benefits. The program will be funded by Washington
workers who will pay premium assessments (a tax) through employer payroll deductions.
An opt-out window exists for residents who own “private long-term care insurance” to apply for an exemption from the premium tax. The opt-
out window runs from November 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022.



  • Beginning January 1, 2022 each W-2 employee will pay a premium tax through payroll deduction.
  • An initial premium rate will be 0.58% of the individual’s wages (or $0.58 for each $100 earned).
  • Wages will be taxed without limitation or capped amount.
  • There is an option for self-employed individuals to elect coverage and be part of the program.
  • There is also a limited period for individuals who own “long-term care insurance” to apply for an exemption from the premium assessment (tax) – in other words, to opt-out of the program.
  • Benefits for approved services will become available starting on January 1, 2025.
  • Maximum lifetime benefits are $36,500 per person (adjusted annually) for vested individuals.
  • An “eligible beneficiary” of the program is a qualified individual who:
    • is age 18 years or older,
    • was not disabled before the age of 18,
    • meets the requirement for assistance with ADLs, and
    • has not exhausted their lifetime benefits.
  • Benefits will not be available to individuals who:
    • have already permanently retired, thus are unable to vest into the program,

o are not residing in Washington state when qualified to receive benefits – even if vested in the program.

Opting out of the program


An employee who attests they have “long-term care insurance” has the option to apply for an exemption from the premium tax. Note that once the employee is determined to be exempt, they may not later apply to become a qualified individual or eligible beneficiary – they are permanently ineligible for coverage under the program.

  • The employment security department will accept applications for the exemption only from

November 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022.

  • Only employees aged 18 and older can apply for the exemption
  • As the tax is assessed through payroll deduction, it is the responsibility of the exempt employee to provide written notification to all current and future employers of an approved exemption.

What qualifies as “long-term care insurance” in Washington State?


RCW 48.83.0201 enacted by the Washington State Legislature defines “long-term care insurance” for Washington state (not federal) purposes. Included in the definition are the following types of insurance:

  • Long-term care riders on life insurance and annuities
  • Qualified long-term care insurance contracts
  • The long-term care riders or policies purchased under group coverage