Friday, October 22, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Advocates: Private Long-Term Insurance Costly Alternative to WA Cares Fund

Play

Monday, August 23, 2021   

SEATTLE - Washington state has established a long-term care fund for working people, but advocates of the program are concerned about predatory practices from the private insurance industry.

Starting in 2022, Washington workers will pay 58 cents for every $100 they make to the "WA Cares Fund," which will give people access to $36,500 in long-term care benefits when they retire.

Ben Veghte, director of WA Cares Fund for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, said the insurance industry has attacked the program. But he noted people stop paying into the WA Cares Fund when they retire.

"Most Washingtonians can't afford private long-term care insurance while they're working, much less in retirement on a fixed income," said Veghte. "If you buy private long-term care insurance, you have to pay those premiums until the day you die or need care - so into your 80s or beyond."

The window for people who have a qualifying policy and want to apply for an exemption from the WA Cares Fund starts on October 1 and lasts through the end of 2022.

Opponents of the program say it doesn't offer enough coverage. Veghte noted that people who become exempt opt out of the program for life.

State Sen. Annette Cleveland - D-Vancouver - is chair of the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee. She said there are drawbacks to private insurance.

Rates can be higher for women and people with pre-existing conditions, fluctuate from year to year, and are much higher than the annual amount people pay into the WA Cares Fund.

She also said she has a personal story about mismanagement of her long-term care plan. Three years ago, she got a call falsely saying she'd stopped paying.

"I was in the middle of a legislative session," said Cleveland. "There was nothing more I could do, but as a result my policy was canceled. All of those years of premiums that I paid were lost."

Cleveland said other Washingtonians have filed similar complaints with the state and that was part of the impetus for starting the WA Cares Fund.

Veghte said the program is flexible, meaning it could be used to pay for care from family members such as children if someone wants to get care from their home.

"It's a favor that you're going to not only do for yourself but do for your spouse and your children," said Veghte. "So I would encourage all of us to think about our futures, think about being prepared for when we're older and what we might need."




get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021