Long-Term Care Insurance Companies Limit Options For Washington Residents
"There are now only two traditional long-term care insurance companies offering policies through brokers and new minimum coverage requirements will significantly reduce the number of potential buyers," explains Jesse Slome, director of the organization.
Slome noted that Mutual of Omaha has announced that it will no longer accept applications from Washington residents. "The leaves two brokerage-oriented insurers, NGL and Thrivent. They both have set minimal age and coverage levels for Washington residents."
Both companies will only accept policies from individuals who are age 40 or older. "With their new minimal coverage requirements for Washington residents, someone looking for coverage solely as a way to be exempt from the new tax will need to earn $200,000 or more. Of course, at that price the private insurance will provide a significantly greater benefit than the State of Washington's plan."
A few options exist for individuals younger than 40 Slome notes. "There are some linked benefit or hybrid policies that qualify for the exemption," he explains. "However, we still advise consumers just looking for a way to avoid the taxes that their annual income should be at least $200,000 or more before taking the time to investigate private coverage."
Slome notes an additional caution for individuals. "Many of the consumers I've spoken have indicated they will drop coverage once their exemption is filed," he explains. "While the State has not said they will ask insurers to validate that coverage is in place, I suspect they will amend the law to close this potential loophole. So, I've been cautioning against dropping coverage until that issue is fully resolved."
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance has been connecting Washington consumers with long-term care insurance agents. Individuals who are 40 and over and who have annual incomes of $200,000 or more are invited to call the organization at 818-597-3227. To learn more about Washington long-term care insurance options visit the Association's website at https://www.aaltci.org/