Washington and Hawaii rely on public funds to cover cost of home care for older adults

Kaiser Health News reports on two states that have passed laws to help cover the cost of home care for older adults. Washington and Hawaii are relying on public funds to pay for long-term services and supports that enable more older adults to age in place.

In Washington, a 0.58 percent payroll contribution will pay for a $36,500 long-term services and supports (LTSS) benefit under the Long-Term Care Trust Act. Everyone must pay this tax except self-employed people and people with private long-term care insurance. They can opt to pay in or not. The state government passed this new law after considering and rejecting the idea of strengthening commercial long-term care insurance.

The LTSS benefit begins in 2025 for people who pay in at least three years. Contributions will be collected beginning 2022. People who need help with at least three activities of daily living–bathing, dressing, toiletting, eating, and transferring– will be eligible for the benefit.

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