July 29, 2021

Message From Secretary Treasurer Greg Markley

After three months of preparation, we are ready to offer a hybrid Long Term Care/Life Insurance product to our WSCFF members.  Your employer may offer a very similar policy through Trustmark or another insurance company.  It is up to you to determine which would be the best fit for you.  You may see differences in premium amounts due to the way the policy is written.  Please use this link to sign up for a webinar so that you have a clear understanding of how to enroll.  If you are not able to sign up for a webinar, use this link to listen to a pre-recorded seminar. The enrollment period is August 4, 2021,  through September 15, 2021. This will be a self-pay plan by ACH through your bank.  If members of your administration are applying, just have them use the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters name when applying on the phone call for enrollment. This particular plan is not a self-enrollment, and you must enroll by phone.  We are using ACSIA Partners to assist with enrollment.    If there is a problem, just let me know; and we will add them to the census, and we should be able to get it resolved.

Here are important links:

You can contact Becky Wallen with any enrollment issues regarding being on the census.  Certainly reach out to me – 253.740.5100 – with issues as well.

Greg

Background: WSCFF partners with TrustMark to bring members a solution to opt out of Washington’s Long Term Care Tax

Washington State is implementing the first publicly funded long term care (LTC) program in the nation, which will provide working residents of the state with basic support should they qualify for assistance with regular daily activities such as eating, bathing or mobility. Workers with private LTC insurance will have the opportunity to opt out of the program by applying for an exemption. In order to opt out, your private LTC policy must be in effect no later than November 1, 2021. This is your ONE-TIME opportunity to opt out of the Washington State tax. 

About Washington’s Long Term Care Trust Act

  • The program will be funded via a payroll tax beginning January 1, 2022
  • Workers will be required to pay a career-spanning tax of 0.58% tax on their income (with no cap). For example, a person earning $100,000/year can expect to pay $580/year.
  • Workers will have access to a lifetime benefit up to $36,500 that will be adjusted annually for inflation.
  • There is a 10-year vesting period for the program with no benefits payable until 2025.
  • The benefit will only be available to Washington State residents and is not portable should you retire outside the State.
  • Learn more here: http://www.wacaresfund.wa.gov/ 

Opting Out: Why you may want to consider a private LTC plan

  • Personalized plans at affordable premiums based on issue age.
  • Two in one protection with both life insurance and long-term care benefits.
  • Complete portability – retire anywhere you’d like and still be able to access your benefit.
  • Great option for individuals with increasing income/assets to protect, especially the younger population
  • Learn more here: https://wscff.yourcare360.com

If you enroll between August 4th and September 15th, your policy will be effective on October 1, 2021. It is your responsibility to apply for the opt out exemption through the Employment Security Department (ESD). The application process for exemption opens on October 1, 2021. Once approved, you will be provided with a certificate that you will give to your current employer (and any future employer) allowing them to waive the Washington LTC income tax.