I want to share a story in response to Laurel Demkovich’s article (“As opt-out deadline looms, benefit for long-term care draws praise, criticism,” Aug. 29) on the upcoming deadline for working Washingtonians to opt out of the new, first of its kind in the nation, public option for long term care coverage, known as Washington Cares.
This innovative solution helps families to cover the cost of care associated with aging, or unexpected injuries. Wa Cares offers a public option that provides a wide range of long-term care services either in one’s own home — provided by family, or agency caregivers, home modification, equipment or if preferred in an alternative setting.
Washington Cares provides lifetime benefit up to $ 36,500; employees pay as long as they are working, and no premiums after retirement. Also, pre-existing conditions are not a barrier to getting this benefit, and men and women have the same benefits, unlike commercial long-term care insurance.
I would like to tell those under 50 that it’s not just elders who need care. A youngster in our family had an accident 5 years ago, needing long rehabilitation and recovery at home for 6 months, needed help to sit, stand, walk and carry out daily living activities. In-home supports are valuable along with home modifications. These supports were not covered by health insurance.
We are fortunate to live in a state that is building a fund to help workers of all ages, to cover expenses when we may need it. I urge my fellow Washingtonians to “opt in”, not opt out.