Now the Employment Security Department has failed to deliver the Long-Term Care opt-out program

By MARK HARMSWORTH  | 
Oct 1, 2021
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Update 10/4: The Cares Website continues to experience problems and periods of long downtime.

After last year’s abject failure to deliver an unemployment benefit system capable of handling the unemployment claims of Washington residents and losing $650 million taxpayer dollars to a Nigerian scam, you may be shocked to learn the Employment Security Department (ESD) was trusted with administering the state mandated Long-Term Care Insurance program that begins in January 2022.

The first day of business for the Long-Term Care opt-out website, however, continues to expose the ineptitude of ESD’s leadership. The webpage, that was launched October 1, Friday morning at 9am, was, within minutes, overwhelmed by residents trying to opt out of the unpopular state program.

The site remained offline all day, and as of Friday 8pm is still reporting technical difficulties.

The controversial payroll tax, that will be collected on a monthly basis starting in January 2022, forces residents of Washington to enroll in a program for their entire careers, for a onetime only benefit, should they need long term care.

There are no estimates to when the site will be back online. In the meantime, Washington residents, that have managed to obtain affordable long term care insurance outside of the state program are at risk of not being able to opt out of the state program in time.

ESD has not indicated when the site will be back online.

ESD needs to bring the opt out system back online immediately and extend the window for Washington residents to opt out to make up for the downtime that is no fault of those that want to opt out of the program.

Washington residents should not be penalized for the state system failures.

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