2019 UPDATE: After substantial improvements made to the "Long-Term Care Trust Act" over the legislative interim, AARP now supports the measure. This year's version of the bill offers an expanded array of care choices, providing Washingtonians with flexible and meaningful benefits, ensuring families can choose the care setting and services that best meet their needs. The bill now also honors the important role of family caregivers and provides the opportunity for them to be compensated under the Long Term Care Trust Act after completing a limited amount of training. Click here for the latest news on this bill.
OLYMPIA, WA – February 8, 2018 – Doug Shadel, state director of AARP Washington issued the following statement regarding AARP’s opposition to House Bill 2533, the Long-Term Care Trust Act, which was recently passed out of the House Appropriations Committee, and now heads for a vote on the floor of the Washington State House of Representatives.
“For years, AARP Washington has worked with stakeholders to develop solutions to help people pay for the care they need to live independently and remain in their own homes and communities as they age or live with a disability. HB2533 is a proposal to change how we help seniors and persons with disabilities pay for this vital care. However, there are still too many serious concerns in the current proposal; particularly regarding how the bill impacts family caregivers. For this reason, AARP opposes HB2533, as written.
“We know the majority of care for Washingtonians is provided by family members, and two-thirds of those who reside at home rely exclusively on their family caregivers for their care. Family caregivers take on big responsibilities to care for their loved ones and most are unpaid. We believe there needs to be a broader discussion regarding how families can utilize the benefits that would be generated by HB2533, including the impact of potentially costly and burdensome training requirements on family members. And while the requirement that beneficiaries must need assistance with three or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is consistent with Medicaid rules, it is quite restrictive.
“These concerns are especially important for people living in rural communities with limited options and fewer choices in how they can access care.
“We are also concerned that the benefit is not portable, and if a worker leaves Washington, they lose access to any benefit from this program. And finally, there is confusion on how HB2533 would impact those receiving Medicare long-term services, as the current bill may suggest they are ineligible to access the benefit even though they have paid into the trust.
“AARP has raised these concerns, but changes have not been made. This issue is too important to not get it right. We now stand at an impasse. Therefore, AARP has made the tough decision to oppose HB2533. We urge state representatives to vote NO on HB2533, as currently drafted.”