OLYMPIA – Two bills intended to protect vulnerable seniors and ensure access to long term care services and supports were signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee today. Both bills were sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D-Everett).

SB 5508 ensures that Washingtonians who pay for private long-term care insurance can receive benefits when they are needed most. The legislation aligns 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 ensures that they are not hung out to dry if their private plan were to become insolvent.”

SB 5745 will help more seniors afford in-home care while reducing poverty. The legislation increases the amount of monthly income retained by Medicaid long-term care clients receiving in-home personal care from $1,074 to $2,382 – the federal maximum.

“With this step, we are ensuring more elderly folks can stay in their homes as long as possible,” said Liias. “By increasing this allowance, we are getting much closer to our state’s cost of living and allowing more folks to pay their bills. Thank you to the seniors in my community who brought this idea forward for consideration!”

Both bills passed the Legislature on nearly unanimous votes and will go into effect June 9, 2022.