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AARP on today's House passage of the "Long-term Care Trust Act"

BILL STATUS UPDATE: House Bill 1087 passed the House on Feb. 21 (see AARP Statement) on a vote of 63-33.  It passed the Senate on April 16 on a vote of 26-22 (see AARP Statement).  The House concurred with Senate amendments on April 23, clearing the way for Governor Inslee's signature.

For Immediate Release
February 21, 2019

Statement from AARP State Director Doug Shadel on Today’s House  Passage of HB-1087, the “Long-Term Care Trust Act”

Olympia, WA – Today’s bi-partisan support and successful passage of the “Long-Term Care Trust Act” ( House Bill 1087) out of the Washington State House of Representatives is a significant step forward towards bringing peace of mind and financial security to Washingtonians when it’s needed most.

Washingtonians are facing a crisis when it comes to our financial preparedness for future long-term care costs. The median retirement savings for people over 65 is just $148,000, while the lifetime cost of care averages $260,000. The long-term care insurance market is broken, and policies are too expensive and out of reach for more than 90% of us.

The Long-Term Care Trust Act (LTCTA), will help tackle that problem by creating a state long-term care program to provide Washingtonians with flexible and meaningful benefits, ensuring families can choose the care setting and services that best meet their needs.

The program will also alleviate some of the growing stress on the state’s Medicaid budget, and could help prevent countless middle-class families from being forced to spend down their life savings to pay for care. The LTCTA is projected to save Washington taxpayers $19 million in the first year of operation (2022), with a net savings of nearly $4 billion by 2052.

Voters are speaking out and our elected lawmakers are listening. More than 6,000 Washingtonians recently signed letters of support urging their legislators to pass the LTCTA. Similarly, an August 2018 poll of Washington voters showed that 73% support the concept of creating a long-term care trust. That backing increases among younger voters, with 83% of voters ages 18-34 supporting the concept.

We commend the House for tackling the state’s long-term care coverage crisis head-on, and are especially grateful for the leadership and support from lead bill sponsors Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-27) and Representative Drew MacEwen (R-35).

We now urge the Washington State Senate to continue the momentum by passing the LTCTA, and providing Washingtonians with a long-term care solution we can all count on.

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Poll methodology: Data was collected via a telephone survey among 613 registered voters age 18-plus in Washington State. Both cell phone and landline numbers were randomly drawn from a registered voter list. Interviews were conducted August 14-27, 2018. The survey has a margin of sampling error of ±4 percent. Details available online.

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