Changes in long-term care program under consideration would still require a tax increase

The Washington Research Council reports on legislative changes being proposed in the state’s long-term care program. The proposals still fall short of making the program solvent over the long term.

[Tuesday] the Appropriations Committee heard HB 1732 and HB 1733. HB 1732 would delay the state’s long-term care (LTC) program by 18 months and make individuals born before 1968 eligible for the program if they pay premiums for at least a year (benefits would be prorated). HB 1733 would add voluntary exemptions for veterans with service-connected disabilities, spouses of active-duty service members, employees with nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers, and employees who work in Washington but live elsewhere.

The WRC notes the actuarial analysis.

Milliman has performed actuarial analyses of both bills. Under current law, the statutory premium rate is 0.58%, but, as we discussed in our policy brief on the program, the premium would need to increase to at least 0.66% in order for the trust account to be solvent over 75 years.

The proposals narrow the gap, the WRC writes, but still fall short.  And, the question remains, “Should Washington Be in the Long-Term Care Insurance Business?”