New York and Pennsylvania are considering long-term care legislation similar to the controversial WA Cares plan in Washington state.
Legislation introduced in both states is modeled after Washington’s WA Cares Fund, which will begin collecting a payroll tax in July to create a mandatory long-term care plan for the state’s residents.
The WA Cares plan has been criticized by many, leading to delays in collections as well as lawsuits and changes, including the addition of an opt-out option. A lawsuit filed by workers opposed to the fund had their suit tossed in April.
Pennsylvania’s Aging and Older Adult Services Act (House Bill 2779) would establish a fund to provide up to $36,500 in lifetime benefits for long-term services and supports, including funds for assisted living communities and nursing homes, respite care, in-home caregiving and home modifications.
The fund would be administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and financed by a monthly 58-cent payroll premium for every $100 earned beginning July 1. Those who pay into the program for 10 years would be able to access $100 daily up to the lifetime limit.
The act also would establish a Long-Term Services and Supports Commission and Long-Term Services and Supports Council.
The New York Long Term Care Trust Act (Senate Bill 9082) similarly would establish a state long-term care trust program, financed by a payroll withholding tax, to provide a daily $100 public benefit to all New York workers in need of assistance with at least three activities of daily living.
The state’s comptroller would set the tax rate at “the lowest amount necessary to maintain the actuarial solvency” of the plan. Payroll deductions would begin two years after the law is adopted.
As would Pennsylvania’s bill, it would establish a long-term care trust commission and advisory panel and would fund LTSS services, including assisted living services.