Knowing there’s money set aside for care in the future gives your employees peace of mind today. The WA Cares Fund makes affordable long-term care coverage available to all Washington workers.
As a Washington employer, you are required to report your employees’ wages and hours and pay premiums every quarter—unless you had no payroll expenses during that quarter. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, you’ll collect premiums from your employees the same way you do now for Paid Leave—we’re updating the Paid Leave reporting system on our end so you can report for both programs at the same time. Employers won’t pay any share of these contributions for their employees.
Need more info on reporting? Check out this helpful info from Paid Family and Medical Leave. WA Cares reporting will be fully integrated for your convenience.
Calculate the total premium amount for each of your employees. The premium for 2022 is 0.58 percent of an employee’s gross wages, so:
- Gross wages x .058 = total premium
Note that unlike Paid Family and Medical Leave, premium contributions do not top out at the taxable maximum for Social Security. That maximum is set annually and is currently $142,800.
Tracking employee exemptions
Some employees may choose to apply for an exemption from WA Cares coverage. It’s their responsibility to apply, and—if approved—to notify and give you a copy of their approval letter from Employment Security Department (ESD). Once approved, exemptions are permanent and employees can never opt back in.
Once notified, employers must:
- Not deduct WA Cares premiums from workers who’ve provided an ESD exemption approval letter. Note: this letter will list the effective date of the employee’s exemption.
- Keep a copy of their workers’ approval letters on file.
You can still continue offering long-term care insurance to your employees
You still have the option to offer private long-term care insurance to your employees but it’s their responsibility to decide whether to apply for an exemption. You can’t apply for exemptions on behalf of your employees. Once approved, exemptions are permanent and employees can never opt back in, even if they change jobs.
Check out our employer toolkit
There’s plenty to know about WA Cares, and we’re committed to making your experience as easy as possible with helpful info and resources.
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