What You Need to Know
- Employees would pay a 0.3% payroll tax and employers would pay 0.3%.
- The monthly benefit would start at $3,600 and rise with inflation.
- The goal is for the benefit to pay for six hours of care per day.
Rep. Tom Suozzi is trying to overhaul how the country pays for long-term care (LTC) services.
The New York state Democrat has introduced H.R. 4289, the “Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home (WISH) Act” bill.
The WISH act would impose a 0.3% payroll tax on workers and a 0.3% payroll tax on employers.
In exchange, workers would get protection against catastrophic long-term care costs. The goal is for the program to pay for six hours of care per day, according to a bill summary.
For low-income workers, benefits would kick in a year after the workers began to need LTC services.
For the highest income workers, public long-term care insurance (LTCI) would begin to pay benefits after five years.
Suozzi said he tried to design H.R. 4289 to make the LTCI market more attractive to private insurers, not to crowd private LTCI coverage out.
“We have a storm coming, with the number of disabled elders expected to double in the coming years,” Suozzi said in a comment included in the bill introduction announcement. “Fewer family caregivers are available for these aging Americans, and the market for long-term care insurance is not currently sufficient to address these demographic challenges.”