A new report has great news for more than 84,000 workers in the Kirkland, Sammamish, Bellevue, Redmond area who will soon be building up WA Cares benefits. WA Cares will enable us to stay in our own homes with paid home care when we have dementia, cancer, other illnesses or injuries.
The new analysis comes from We Care For Cares, a coalition of consumer and patient advocates including AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Lupus Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
In our area, WA Cares will directly benefit an estimated 84,000 workers, including:
- 72,810 younger workers (20-54)
- 11,540 older workers (55-64)
- 44,250 Black, Indigenous and workers of color
- 15,870 part-time workers
- 7,800 gig workers
Dr. Charles Mayer, a member of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, says, “Making long term care affordable and reliable, and helping people stay at home is key to better health and wellbeing. Just like Medicare and Social Security, we pay into WA Cares while we’re working, and it’s there for us when we’re injured, sick, or just getting too old to care for ourselves safely. Without this program, millions of Washingtonians would have to empty out their savings and file for taxpayer-funded Medicaid.”
WA Cares covers more than 61,000 people under age 65 in our area who likely have pre-existing conditions
Private long term care insurance companies frequently deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer.
Even if we can afford and qualify for a private long term care insurance policy ($2,000-$7,000/year), we must continue paying premiums even after retirement.
With WA Cares, we pay in just while we’re working, and the benefits are always there for us
WA Cares will provide $36,500 (grows with inflation) to help pay someone when we need help with tasks like dressing, bathing, making meals and getting around as a result of an injury, illness, disease or the normal challenges that can come with aging.
There are nearly 20,000 unpaid caregivers in our area
Frequently, women and Black, Indigenous and people of color become unpaid family caregivers – those less likely to have enough savings to pay for care. When they leave their job to care for others, that drains household income and worsens the labor shortage.
WA Cares is good for jobs and our economy
A dollar in WA Cares spending on home repair, home care, or medical supplier generates another $1.50 in economic benefits and supports jobs in our communities.
Thanks to the support of Representatives Vandana Slatter, Amy Walen, and Senator Patty Kuderer, WA Cares will give us the choice of staying in our homes when we need care.
We Cares for WA Cares is a coalition of consumer advocates including AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Lupus Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society and Physicians for Social Responsibility.