Washington Cares Fund Premium Assessment Delay Announced

The recent statements released from Governor Inslee, House and Senate Democratic Leadership while attempting to provide relief to employers and constituents have caused a great deal of confusion.  It appears from the statements that the WA Cares tax will be delayed until April 1, 2022 at the earliest, but it should be noted that any delay must be approved by the legislature and that the program has not been repealed.  It is important to note the specific language provided by Senator Billig:

In addition to delaying the premium assessment, we also support employers pausing premium collections from employees in Washington so lawmakers can take necessary action. While we cannot direct employers not to collect, we strongly encourage them to pause on collecting premiums from employees, giving us time to pass legislation extending implementation dates until next year.”

Unfortunately the published statements have also raised a number of concerns that have unknown answers at this time; these include whether or not there will be an additional opt-out period, if there will be an impact to the amount of the tax assessment due to the number of opt-outs that have already been filed, or what (if anything) will be changed during the legislative session.

The official statement from December 17th can be found here.

A copy of the draft report that will be provided to the legislature in early January can be found here.

While it is impossible for us to predict the trajectory of the changing dynamics of these programs, please reach out to your Benefits team and we will be happy to share any additional information that we have available.

While every effort has been taken in compiling this information to ensure that its contents are totally accurate, neither the publisher nor the author can accept  liability  for any inaccuracies or changed circumstances of any information herein or for the consequences of any reliance placed upon it. This publication is distributed on the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice or services. Readers should always seek professional advice before entering into any commitments.

About Michelle Cammayo

Michelle Cammayo has more than 13 years of Employee Benefits experience specializing in all lines of health and welfare benefits. Today, Michelle works closely with clients and partners to provide guidance in areas of the law including ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA and PPACA. She also oversees the Compliance Department at Bolton & Company to ensure we are helping our clients manage and eliminate risk with regards to employee benefit compliance.

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