OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate approved bipartisan legislation today to ensure Washingtonians who pay for private long-term care insurance are able to receive benefits when they are needed most.

Senate Bill 5508, sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D – Everett), passed on a unanimous vote.

The legislation would align state law with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Model Act to ensure the Guaranty Fund will remain solvent in the long term.

“This is an important step to make sure Washingtonians are receiving the private long term care coverage that they have paid into,” said Liias. “In some cases, folks have been paying into these private plans for decades. This legislation would ensure that they are not hung out to dry if their private plan were to become insolvent.”

In a 2017 case, Penn Treaty of Pennsylvania’s insolvency caused Washington’s assessments to exceed $200 million to policy holders. While this insolvency was manageable at the time, other private insurers facing collapse could limit the ability of the Guaranty Fund to cover policy holders in the future.

SB 5508 was introduced at request of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. The 2022 Legislative session is scheduled to conclude on March 10.