Paid family medical leave premiums now deducted from WA State paychecks but will they cover the cost of the program?

A new law has gone into effect in Washington State where employees have monies deducted from their paychecks to pay for paid family medical leave. Employers also kick in some money into the insurance program. The state is collecting monies a year in advance; benefits won’t be available until 2020.

About the program details, from MyNorthwest.com:

“Those benefits are partial wage reimbursement for at least 12 weeks when you have a qualifying family or medical event, 16 weeks if you have events qualifying for both family and medical, and up to 18 weeks under certain special circumstances, such as pregnancy complications.

The cost: 0.4 percent of paychecks split roughly 63/37 percent between employee and employer, respectively. A worker earning $50,000 annually would see about $2.42 cents a week taken out of their check, and then when benefits kick in next year, they would be eligible for partial wage reimbursement of up to $1000 a week depending on your earnings.

Read about all the insurance program details here.

The law firm of Davis Wrights Tremaine has been working with businesses to help them get ready for the new law. According a lawyer from that firm:

“But with the program just rolling out funding and rule making still fluid there are some unknowns and concerns. Is this program adequately funded? Is there going to be enough in the pot to account for individuals taking leave? What will be the usage rate of this? And that’s a real unknown right now.

What’s more, is that premiums could actually go up.

There is some language in the law that, there can be an increase in the premium amount. We could see an increase to 0.6 percent gross, and it’s unclear after that point, if it’s still underfunded, what’s going to happen. Are we going to see those premiums increase? And I think it’s probably likely that will we see an increase in the premium amount.

Shocker, not.

DCG

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YouKnowWho
YouKnowWho
1 year ago

‘How stupid can you get?’ is a question not a challenge.

Joseph BC69
Joseph BC69
1 year ago

The USA is the only industrial nation without a National Medical Plan for its citizens. Why is this? The answer’s very simple: its feral gubbmint is in thrall to Big Pharma and Big Insurance. The states are thrown to these wolves, to do what they can to mediate for residents, but of course they are unable to fully fund their needs, as they’re swamped with infrastructure, education, and other debts. My oldest daughter’s seriously considering returning to California with her three children, as she thinks she’s found the love of her life. But she’s lived in BC 17 years now,… Read more »

Joseph BC69
Joseph BC69
1 year ago
Reply to  DCG

While I don’t know about other provinces, here in BC under good old Wacky Bennett, his teetotaling Christian heart told him the the way to pay for hospital care was to make it part of our sales tax. This was a very smart move: our 5% sales tax is rightly termed ‘social services tax’. All the sales tax from the liquor control board, which was until very recently a monopoly, is used to fund our hospitals, where we get fully paid care WITHOUT a premium or payment. There’s no reason the same policies can’t be put into place in Washington,… Read more »

CalGirl
CalGirl
1 year ago
Reply to  Joseph BC69

You have a 5% sales tax that pays for your socialized medicine costs for all citizens? Dang! How are they managing this? I’m paying 11% sales tax in California and STILL have to pay $12,000 a year through my employer (matched by them…so, $24,000 per year total) for my health insurance in a Kaiser Permanente group healthcare plan (Plus I pay a separate vison and dental insurance on my own per year). I can count the times on ONE hand….less than one hand, in fact, that I’ve had to use my doctor in the last decade (b/c it is a… Read more »

Joseph BC69
Joseph BC69
1 year ago
Reply to  CalGirl

I well and truly understand your pain and horror, CalGirl. The basic problem in the US is that everything’s been privatised to the max, so your pain and suffering can be profitable to some corporation. Your well-being is not! On the federal level our National Medical Plan was first devised and put in place by Tommy Douglas, when he was Premier of Saskatchewan in the 50s. Before he entered politics he had being a Baptist minister, and the Baptist of that era had a very deep concern for social justice. Creating a provincial medical plan was his way of expressing… Read more »

CincyChris
CincyChris
1 year ago

More incentive for more people to work “under the table”. Liberals never understand that there are effects to their causes.