The first day for workers in Washington state to opt out of the WA Cares Fund started with a crash.
By 11 a.m. Friday, the state’s website to apply for an exemption to the new long-term care insurance benefit was down. In a notice posted to the site, the state said technical teams were working to resolve the issue.
The main website for the WA Cares Fund is still working.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” the update stated.
Washington’s new long-term-care program, funded by a mandatory payroll tax, was signed into law in 2019. Starting Jan. 1, employees will pay 58 cents for every $100 earned to fund up to $36,500 in benefits for individuals to pay for home health care and other services.
Washington state workers who have an existing long-term care plan in place by Nov. 1 can apply for an exemption from the program through Dec. 31, 2022.