I-1436 will give workers choices on state’s Long Term Care insurance program

New initiative will allow workers to avoid new state payroll tax

Former state Rep. Cary Condotta has introduced a citizens initiative to give people a choice regarding Washington state’s long term care (LTC) program and the payroll tax that goes with it. The legislature passed the law in 2019 and it will go into effect in January 2022. Employers will be forced to collect a tax of 58 cents per $100 of earnings and remit it to the state.

Condotta’s group has submitted I-1436 to the Secretary of State. Citizens will have through the end of the year to collect signatures on the petition. A copy of the initiative can be obtained here. I-1436 would make it optional to participate in Washington’s long-term care insurance.

He shared the news of the initiative petition on KVI’s John Carlson radio show Thursday morning. “You’re in a program that you’ll probably never see the benefit of,” he said.

Condotta listed several examples of flaws in the program. If you’re less than 10 years from retirement, you can’t get vested; yet you’ll still have to pay into it. If you move out of state, you can’t use the benefit as a resident of another state.  “Everybody pays the tax,” he said.

Carlson responded “that’s taxation without representation.”

The initiative, if enacted into law, would require people to “opt in,” to actually choose to be in the program. That is a stark contrast to the current law that only allows people a one-time opportunity to opt out. 

A citizen’s initiative petition has been filed with the Secretary of State in Washington. I-1436 will give people a choice, requiring them to “opt in” to the program. It will also give them the option to “opt out” at any time. Graphic courtesy of WashingtonPetitions.com
A citizen’s initiative petition has been filed with the Secretary of State in Washington. I-1436 will give people a choice, requiring them to “opt in” to the program. It will also give them the option to “opt out” at any time. Graphic courtesy of WashingtonPetitions.com

The current opt-out provision only applies during the month of October. Citizens must get private long term care insurance prior to Nov. 1. After providing proof of insurance to the state, they then must get a state form to submit to their employer by the end of the year. Otherwise the employer must begin withholding the new payroll tax.

This tax will fund a long-term care insurance program known as the WA Cares Fund. The state’s mandatory LTC program provides a maximum benefit of $36,500, or $100 per day. “It’s not good for workers,” says Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center.

The intent statement of the initiative says the following.

“The state of Washington’s government-operated long-term care insurance scheme has too many conditions and restrictions to propose good value to working people and families in the state. More troubling still, the scheme is actuarially unsound, which means the moneys the state deducts from workers’ paychecks are not enough to cover the scheme’s overhead, operating costs, and benefits obligations. In short, the scheme is a bad deal and working people in Washington should have the ability to opt out of it. This initiative provides all Washington workers that reasonable option.”

“I’m concerned that there are too many questions about the program’s viability, and that the people who are supposed to benefit the most from this program will end up being hurt financially in the long run,” said Senator Curtis King, (14th District). “I think the tax rate for the program eventually will need to rise, which will hurt lower-income workers.” 

For example, if you make $50,000 per year, you will pay $290 per year until you retire or leave the state, King shared. “If you move out of Washington, your benefits are not portable, and your contributions will be forfeited to the state.”

People desiring to opt out must purchase a private long-term care plan before Nov. 1, 2021. King said:  “Starting Oct. 1, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2022, you will need to fill out an application attesting to the Employment Security Department that you have purchased private long-term care insurance. ESD will provide you with an exemption letter, and this letter will need to be shown to your employer and any future employers to keep you from permanently paying the payroll tax.”

The program can’t pay for itself according to Condotta. “It’s 58 cents. It’ll turn it into $1.58 and then $2.50,” he said. 

“Explain why it is that my Social Security is portable; wherever I go my Social Security comes with me,” Carlson said. “My 401k comes with me, my medical insurance comes with me. Why wouldn’t this brand new Long Term Care Program come with me if I paid the taxes into it?”

“Because that’s the way they wrote it,” Condotta responded. “It’s got a lot of problems like that.”

The initiative does two things according to Condotta. “It says you have to opt in to start with,” he said. “You have to tell them you want in this program. And then it says you can opt out at any time if you’re already in the program.”

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Roy
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Roy
1 month ago

Just another scam by inslee and the democrats.

Rhonda Gibson
Guest
Rhonda Gibson
1 month ago
Reply to  Roy

This is the reason Inslee needs to be recalled or impeached.

Jova
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Jova
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhonda Gibson

Really? This is the issue that bothers you? Wow most conservatives don’t even know about this upcoming tax.

Julie Meyers
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Julie Meyers
1 month ago
Reply to  Jova

Sure they do Rhonda. All W-2 employees by law should know about this. This new ltc tax is Olympias way of paying out less Medicaid.

Patricia Stearns
Guest
Patricia Stearns
1 month ago
Reply to  Jova

I’ve never heard about it. We hear about them when they start charging us for the taxes. If it doesn’t pass they just call it a fee. Believe me I owned a small business….

Tammy
Guest
Tammy
1 month ago

Unfortunately alot of employers have not shared the information. I heard about it nonths ago.

Pam
Guest
Pam
1 month ago
Reply to  Tammy

I am an employer and the first communiction I’ve received from the state was on 8/13. I learned about this tax via word of mouth. The state has been very quiet about launching this out.

Molly M Allaway
Guest
Molly M Allaway
1 month ago
Reply to  Pam

Same for us. It was hush hush until late July

Shawn
Guest
Shawn
10 days ago
Reply to  Tammy

My employer is based in California. My HR department didn’t know anything about it until I mentioned it. (My fault, I know…)

Kim
Guest
Kim
28 days ago

It’s already been passed into law and signed by Inslee to take effect 1/1/2022. I would encourage you to see if your local Representative voted for this and if so let them know what you think.

Ronda Davis
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Ronda Davis
1 month ago
Reply to  Jova

Yes we do for Pete sake…thats a real slap

Molly M Allaway
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Molly M Allaway
1 month ago
Reply to  Jova

YES, We know about it and we don’t agree with it

Harley
Guest
Harley
28 days ago
Reply to  Rhonda Gibson

Gov Inslee did not create this bill, he signed it. And that is after it passed through the state house and senate.

Jon Doe
Guest
Jon Doe
1 month ago

It’s great that this is out here but it’s too late. I’ve already signed up for a private plan that has higher coverage and will cover me regardless of where I live.

John Ley
Guest
John Ley
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon Doe

Jon — none the less, “if” you like that long term care plan you just purchased, good for you.

If you don’t, you can sign this petition, which will allow you and your neighbors to “opt out” and not be forced to pay the tax.

To me, it’s an issue of freedom and personal choice.

Teresa Walker
Guest
Teresa Walker
25 days ago
Reply to  Jon Doe

What was the insurance company? I can’t find one! Insurance Commissioner said that a lot of insurance companies have suspended LTC coverage in WA. AMAC says there are NONE remaining in WA State other than private member group coverage like Knights of Columbus.

ran par
Guest
ran par
1 month ago

this petition can be submitted only by a person allowed to register to vote? only citizen can do , A non immigrant like me living in states for more than a decade and paying taxes are also allowed to do ?

Last edited 1 month ago by ran par
Chris Anonymous
Guest
Chris Anonymous
1 month ago

Is there really no way to sign this petition online?….

John Ley
Guest
John Ley
1 month ago

Chris —

Sadly, under the “rules” so far, it must be printed on both sides, on an 11 x 17 page.

Kinkos will print one for you at minimal cost.

If you’re truly motivated, you can order a packet of 5 or up to 100 from the website.

https://www.washingtonpetitions.com/i1436-petition

Kathy
Guest
Kathy
1 month ago

If this petition can only be signed in person, will someone share this with the major newsgroups, on FB, with financial advisor groups, and businesses so that more people know about this?!

And how are we going to get enough signatures to repeal this income like tax (because that’s basically what it is considering how little you get out of it), if we can’t sign online?

How can it be so easy for the state to sneak this in and yet so difficult to challenge it?

Kathy
Guest
Kathy
1 month ago
Reply to  Kathy

After researching online, it appears there are websites you can post petitions that you can sign online. Change.org is the most popular.

Is the former Rep. Cary Condotta’s group going to post this petition for online signatures? That would be most helpful and then this news article could include a link to it to sign.

tlhonmey
Guest
tlhonmey
27 days ago
Reply to  Kathy

You can sign the petitions online to have it sent to the various people in charge. But so far as I know anything less than a written signature on properly sized and printed paper doesn’t count for getting the initiative on the ballot.

Julie Harrison
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Julie Harrison
19 days ago
Reply to  Kathy

It’s the people that vote these money grabbing politicians into office. Vote them out!

Tommy
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Tommy
1 month ago

There is no way to opt out if you purchase a private long term care insurance later. This is basically an income tax on workers.

Julie Meyers
Guest
Julie Meyers
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy

Income tax on workers. Exactly!

Jova
Guest
Jova
1 month ago

The state needs to put the LTC tax on a pause. The idea of it is to help people, but it has too many flaws. Anyone that pays into this tax should surely reap the benefit, regardless of which state they end up living in when they need care. The tax is unfair to employees who pay less than ten years into it. Those two issues must be reworked in order for this to be a true benefit for the citizens of Washington. I ask our leaders to just focus on the emergent needs caused by the pandemic at this time, and not to initiate a new tax that is hardly being discussed by the media, human resource offices, and the state.

I

Julie Meyers
Guest
Julie Meyers
1 month ago
Reply to  Jova

There needs to be another open enrollment so people have more time to shop alternative plans and insurance companies can create new products. 80k applications in 30 days from only two insurance companies that I write with.

Jova
Guest
Jova
1 month ago
Reply to  Julie Meyers

Agreed, an extension could be a starting point.

Seattle
Guest
Seattle
1 month ago
Reply to  Julie Meyers

*IF* any companies are still offering LTC to Washingtonians! Most companies have closed their enrollment due to overwhelming demand, and some companies are shamelessly profiting from this situation, such as only offering LTC plans with premiums of $7500 per year. Not many people can afford that.

Aaron N
Guest
Aaron N
1 month ago

A maximum benefit of 36,000? That will cover about 6 months of long term care services. You’re going to have people think they have this benefit and then it’s going to run out just as a soon as they start to really need it.

Julie Meyers
Guest
Julie Meyers
1 month ago
Reply to  Aaron N

3 months after 3 adls

Jay Inslee Liar
Guest
Jay Inslee Liar
1 month ago
Reply to  Aaron N

Welcome to The Democrat Party

tlhonmey
Guest
tlhonmey
27 days ago
Reply to  Aaron N

No, it won’t. It’s capped at $100/day. So you can’t collect it in less than a year.

Michael Frenette
Guest
Michael Frenette
1 month ago

Where can i sign the petition?!

John Ley
Guest
John Ley
1 month ago

Michael —

You can click on this link, and download a petition.

https://www.washingtonpetitions.com/i1436-petition

It must be printed on 11 x 17 paper — two sided printing so that both pages are on one piece of paper.

Since there are 20 spaces for registered voters to sign, get some of your friends and neighbors to sign as well. You do not need to collect 20 signatures (but the more the better!)

As a “Petition Gatherer”, you need to fill in the back page with your information and sign it.

Mail it to:
Yes on I-1436
P.O. Box 1323
Moses Lake, WA 98837

Mail petitions by Dec. 23, 2021.

ANDREW LYNCH
Guest
ANDREW LYNCH
29 days ago
Reply to  John Ley

LETS ALL DO OUR PART AND FILL ONE OF THESE OUT AND SEND IT IN. ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN WILL SIGN IT.

4Dplumber
Guest
4Dplumber
1 month ago

I’m retiring in less than 2 years, why should I be required to pay a dime? I’ll never be able to benefit from it.

Last edited 1 month ago by 4Dplumber
Jana C Myers
Guest
Jana C Myers
1 month ago

We need options, yes. Not a bag full of money for the state to spend without our permission. This is taxation without representation

Joe
Guest
Joe
1 month ago

I swear these pigs could milk a rock.

Edward
Guest
Edward
1 month ago

Has Condotta’s group EVER actually qualified an initiative for the ballot?

Seattle
Guest
Seattle
1 month ago
Reply to  Edward

I’m glad that at least people are raising the problems to light and protesting this shameless taxation without representation. I figured it’d be lawsuits.

George Miller
Guest
George Miller
1 month ago

The WA W2 tax has created quite a storm. Insurance companies have been flooded with low premium applications. As a reaction the companies have either suspended sales in WA until Nov. or they have increased benefit requirements to make for an expensive policy and the companies also say even if someone applies they can no longer guarantee an application will be processed by the Nov 1 opt-out deadline.
A plan not that well thought through but let’s look at the issue.
Medicaid is a HUGE expense for states, paid for by our taxes already. The purpose of the tax is to shore up this expense that keeps growing.
In some countries the citizens pay high taxes and are taken care of cradle to grave but Americans don’t like taxes… but the long term care risk is the same… so one way or another we pay, most often all of our savings. The cost of care in WA is about $200/day for home & assisted living and $300+/day for nursing home. So how you gonna pay?
Why end the opt-opt on Nov 1?
We know in other cases the .58 will not stay .58 for long once the claims on the less than healthy start coming in. One way or another we pay.

Seattle
Guest
Seattle
1 month ago

I’m liberal, and LOL, this is precisely what I said — taxation without representation. I was about to start throwing tea into the harbor when I saw this. Thank goodness!!! This program is full of potential issues and frankly seems like a shameless revenue grab, because people WILL move out of state and the state just gets to keep their $$$, as well as the $$$ for people with 10 years or less until retirement. That’s a fair bit of $$$ the state just gets to keep without paying out a penny. Not OK. We absolutely should be able to opt out.

tlhonmey
Guest
tlhonmey
27 days ago
Reply to  Seattle

On top of the 0.58% is simply not going to bring in enough to cover what they’re saying the program will pay for. They’re lowballing the initial cost to convince people to ignore the opt-out window and then they’ll jack up the rate to whatever they please and use it however they like.

The current rules require them to notify participants if they decide to use the money for something other than providing benefits. But so what? You can’t do anything about it if they do, and that rule can be easily removed later once they’ve tweaked it to where there’s enough money to be worth turning into a slush fund.

sdgahy43a
Guest
sdgahy43a
1 month ago

I’ve purchased a commercial plan and will be opting out, but how do I sign this? I’m not an Inslee hater but this program is a scam.

John Ley
Guest
John Ley
1 month ago
Reply to  sdgahy43a

sdgahy43a —

For the moment, there is no way to sign “online”. The government rules make that much more difficult.

You can print one petition up by sending it to Kinkos. It must be double-sided, and printed on an 11 x 17 paper.

If you are motivated, you can collect signatures from family and friends and neighbors, to help your fellow citizens.

You can also order a packet of 5 here.

https://www.washingtonpetitions.com/i1436-petition

Jane
Guest
Jane
1 month ago

I live in Oregon and work for a WA company, but have to pay the tax regardless of the fact there is zero benefit to me. My only option is to buy LTC elsewhere and opt out, but that is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive due to my age. My question is, can I sign the petition as a Oregon resident?

John Ley
Guest
John Ley
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane — sadly the answer is “no”.

But you can help your fellow employees at the WA company by sharing this article with them and/or getting a petition printed up and collecting signatures. If we get enough signatures, it will require “all” employees to “opt in”, and therefore you will not be required to pay, “if” this initiative is passed.

Harley
Guest
Harley
28 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane, you do not have to pay into this tax unless you are a WA resident. That is written in the law. Contact your HR because they are giving you the wrong information. This is a fact.

tlhonmey
Guest
tlhonmey
27 days ago
Reply to  Harley

Do you have a citation from the actual bill on that? All I can manage to spot is where they define employee as:
A) anyone who is a Washington resident OR
B) anyone who provides services in Washington, with a few exceptions, none of which seem to say anything about non-residents.

So if it’s in there it’s well hidden…

julie
Guest
julie
1 month ago

This was passed in May of 2019. My employer sent us information on how we could opt out. We have until November 1st.

John Ley
Guest
John Ley
1 month ago
Reply to  julie

Julie —

The only way to “opt out” is by purchasing your own, private Long Term Care Insurance plan.

You shouldn’t be forced by government to “buy” anything.

Please join concerned citizens by getting copies of the I-1436 petition and collecting signatures! We need to give all WA citizens the opportunity to vote on this issue.

Jay Inslee Liar
Guest
Jay Inslee Liar
1 month ago

All we have to do is State that this was Trumps Idea and immediately our Attorney General Bob Ferguson will file a lawsuit against it for being and Income Tax that is against our State Constitution.

Jane
Guest
Jane
1 month ago

Once you print and sign this petition, where do you need to send it?

John Ley
Guest
John Ley
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane —

You can click on this link, and download a petition.

https://www.washingtonpetitions.com/i1436-petition

It must be printed on 11 x 17 paper — two sided printing so that both pages are on one piece of paper.

Since there are 20 spaces for registered voters to sign, get some of your friends and neighbors to sign as well. You do not need to collect 20 signatures (but the more the better!)

As a “Petition Gatherer”, you need to fill in the back page with your information and sign it.

Mail it to:
Yes on I-1436
P.O. Box 1323
Moses Lake, WA 98837

Mail petitions by Dec. 23, 2021.

Eric
Guest
Eric
1 month ago

Where do I sign up. Impeach enslee!!

John Ley
Guest
John Ley
1 month ago
Reply to  Eric

Eric –

We have until the end of the year. Go to this website to download and print a copy of the Initiative petition. It must be printed on a single (double sided) 11 x 17″ page.

https://www.washingtonpetitions.com/i1436-petition

You can get family & friends to sign it. On the back you must sign it as the “collector” of voters signatures, and then return it to the P.O. box mentioned.

Harley
Guest
Harley
28 days ago

Here is the thing. WA state Medicaid program WILL run into issues without this. It’s spending is projected to triple by 2030 and over 70% of the spending is because of long term care. Too many people don’t properly plan for this and then rely on the state and it’s too expensive, even for the state. WA is not doing this to “benefit it’s residents” they are doing this to take pressure of their Medicaid program which unfortunately is necessary. CAlifornia, Michigan and Illinois are all discussing a similar law, some with NO opt out provision at all.

this tax is going to be withheld similar to the family paid leave tax in WA which also is not portable, is a payroll tax and all W2 employees pay into it. I understand everyones frustration but I don’t think the state has much of a choice.

any state without income tax needs to find different ways.

Wendie
Guest
Wendie
18 days ago
Reply to  Harley

This tax is ridiculous! We hear that Medicaid won’t be able to afford to cover this and that we are running out of Social Security (which I have paid into for 50 years thank you very much) But we don’t hear about running out of money for WELFARE – which, by the way, was meant to be a short term stop gap IN 1935!!!
Apparently we are being told that we need extra money from a poorly written tax that was NOT put before the people that we have no choice about AND that cannot support itself over the short or long term.
The State will collect at least one quarter of the tax from every individual that doesn’t already have LTC insurance because you must have your approval letter before you can actually opt out, and, guess who has control over dispensing those letters? Yep, that’s right, the State of Washington “oh, gee, sorry, we weren’t able to get your letter back to you until after the cut off so you have to pay the tax regardless for the first quarter. Make no mistake. The insurance companies are in on this full tilt too! This is absolutely to their advantage as we all need to purchase LTC insurance which is ONLY ISSUED AS A RIDER so if you don’t currently have a life insurance plan you have to purchase one and pay extra for a LTC rider.
It is a shameful scam by our State and hurts, not helps those of us close to retirement as we will not be eligible if we have 3 years or less left in active employment.

Bradley
Guest
Bradley
28 days ago

This tax was voted in. This is a lesson to look at the ballots you get every year and do research. This is not the states vault it’s our own ignorance.

Stacey
Guest
Stacey
28 days ago
Reply to  Bradley

Bradley, this was an advisory vote (non binding) for house bill 1087. The majority of Washington State voters (62.92%) voted to repeal the bill – which supported advising the legislature to repeal House Bill 1087. Only 37.08 % of Washington voters were in support of advising the legislator to maintain the house bill. https://ballotpedia.org/Washington_Advisory_Vote_20,_Nonbinding_Question_on_Tax_to_Fund_Long-Term_Healthcare_Services_(2019)

The majority of Washington State DID vote against this, but legislation disregarded the opinion of the majority and maintain the house bill anyway, despite the large percentage of opposition from Voters.

CW Jones
Guest
CW Jones
28 days ago

More problems with the Cares Act:

  • All of the insurance companies have STOPPED writing any new LTC policies, so if you’re wanting to get your own at this point so you can opt out, you CAN’T.
  • If you were to move to Washington in January of 2022, you get no chance to try to buy your own LTC insurance and opt out.
  • Young people get hurt the most here as if they make a decent living they’ll pay far more in to the program over their lifetime than they’ll ever be able to pull out.
MarkN
Guest
MarkN
26 days ago

Absolutely not fair for those that are retiring in a few years and won’t be employed long enough to be vested in the 10 year minimum participation period. As seniors saving every penny they can in their final earning year’s, this means seniors save less. Total sham to bilk more tax dollars from wage earners which most will never see benefit from. Shame on Washington!

John
Guest
John
10 days ago

I just ordered 20 petitions, as I just heard about this tax yesterday. I work for a large company an am union represented and haven’t heard a single word about this until now. I’m going to give a petition to everyone around me and check with my legislators to see which of them voted for this. This is just one more example of how the legislators in this state run roughshod over their voters. If you voted for someone who voted for this, you should call their office and voice your concern, unless of course, you like this sort of taxation.

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