Washington Voters Pivotal To Long-Term Care Insurance Future
The Californer/10277930

LOS ANGELES - Californer -- Washington State became the first state with a mandatory public long-term care insurance program for workers.  Workers began seeing monies deducted from their paycheck in July 2023. This November, workers along with all Washington State voters, will have the opportunity to vote on continuing or opting out of the program.

"While the nation will undoubtedly be watching the results of the presidential election, I'll be as interested in how Washington votes," explains Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. "This could well be one of the more pivotal moments impacting the future for long-term care insurance."

The Washington ballot initiative (I-2124) would allow people to opt out of a payroll tax that funds the state's long-term care insurance program, WA Cares. "If the initiative passes, I believe this will basically end the WA Cares program by making it financially unfeasible for the State," Slome predicts.

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The 40-year long-term care insurance professional notes witnessing other significant events that impacted long-term care insurance. "People forget that a national LTC plan was part of the Affordable Care Act," Slome shares. "Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, the administration later backed away from the program even before attempting a launch."

Slome was sharing thoughts with a group of long-term care insurance specialists. "Those who oppose the WA Care program have already raised funds and admittedly have crafted a memorable slogan, "Vote Yes – Pay Less", Slome acknowledged. "Those who advocate for the many benefits of long-term care insurance will be put to the test of creating powerful messaging that resonates with individuals of all voting ages."

According to State data, some 400,000 individuals were able to opt out of the WA Cares program because they secured private long-term care insurance coverage before specified deadline. "They pose an interesting audience," Slome admits. "Will insurers initiate communication prior to the vote and what messaging will they utilize?"

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"I expect a marketing communications battle will take place," Slome acknowledges. "Workers are already seeing money taken from their paycheck and if they do not understand and value the potential benefits of the program, they'll vote in opposition. As passionate long-term care insurance advocates I'll be watching what insurers and other industry beneficiaries do. I am sure that other states considering programs will also be watching."

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance advocates for the importance of long-term care planning and supports insurance professionals who market both traditional and linked benefit long-term care insurance products. To learn more, visit the organization's website at https://www.aaltci.org. Slome also directs the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance - https://www.medicaresupp.org.

Jesse Slome, director

Source: AALTCI
Filed Under: Insurance

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