The founder and president of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories wrote a letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee asking him to finish a brand new state-mandated insurance coverage program he believes is unfair to SEL’s workers dwelling in Washington and Idaho.
Edmund Schweitzer’s letter criticized the Lengthy-Time period Care Belief Act, which established a compulsory long-term care insurance coverage profit in 2019. The profit known as the WA Cares Fund and can pay advantages of as a lot as $36,500 beginning in 2025.
To fund it, Washington workers will start paying payroll tax beginning Jan.1.
“I’m urging you to make use of your authority to cease this Act earlier than workers start paying for one thing they don’t need, want, or could by no means see even when they did need it,” Schweitzer wrote to Inslee. “We’ve heard so much from of us, nothing optimistic.”
The letter states that SEL’s human assets division has acquired greater than 400 emails from the corporate’s workers saying they don’t need this profit.
SEL, primarily based in Pullman, employs many Idaho residents who should pay into the fund although they can’t obtain its advantages, Schweitzer wrote.
“A lot of our Washington primarily based employee-owners are Idaho residents,” he wrote. “They might pay the tax, however not ever profit from it. In contrast to members in a real, personal insurance coverage program, these workers can have their month-to-month premiums collected, then distributed by the state to others.”
Schweitzer mentioned Thursday that is taxation with out illustration for Idaho residents.
Staff can opt-out of this payroll deduction in the event that they buy their one long-term care insurance coverage coverage that’s authorised by the state. They’ve from Oct. 1-Oct. 31 to buy a qualifying personal long-term care insurance coverage plan and be completely excluded from WA Cares Fund advantages.
As Schweitzer identified in his letter, the state has not finalized the principles relating to which personal plans qualify.
Schweitzer mentioned SEL looked for insurance coverage carriers that may very well be choices for SEL workers desirous to opt-out, however solely one of many six insurance coverage corporations SEL reached out to responded with a proposal.
He added that this proposal would have a cut-off age of 70, which suggests Schweitzer himself wouldn’t qualify for insurance coverage at age 73.
“So, then I’m nonetheless undecided what I’m going to do about it,” he mentioned. “However I’m certain I’m not going to pay the tax. I’ll discover a authorized, moral method to not pay it as a result of I feel it’s simply so wrongheaded.”
Washington staff will initially pay $0.58 per each $100 of revenue. There is no such thing as a cap limiting the quantity workers will pay in deductions and the quantity of the deduction could enhance over time.
Schweitzer wrote in his letter that the state shouldn’t drive individuals to purchase a product. He mentioned the state is distorting the market.
“Compelled participation in a state-mandated program isn’t any substitute for particular person alternative and duty,” he wrote. “Some Washingtonians need long-term care insurance coverage, and are free to decide on to buy it, in numerous plans provided by a number of suppliers, that greatest swimsuit their private conditions. One dimension doesn’t match all! Others don’t need it or want it.”