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Many Washington Employers Must Pay State's Assessment Program

The state of Washington now requires all “assessed entities” (which includes health carriers, self-funded multiple employer welfare arrangements, and other employers or entities that provide health care in the state) to pay a quarterly assessment to the state in order to fund its Partnership Access Lines (PAL) program.

The assessment does not apply to dental-only or vision-only plans. The program supports Washington’s (1) Partnership Access Line, (2) Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens, (3) Perinatal Psychiatry Consultation Line for Providers, and (4) Psychiatry Consultation Line.

How much is the fee?

The initial rate is $0.13 per covered life. A “covered life” is any Washington state resident to whom the assessed entity administers, provides, pays for, insures, or covers health care This rate may be changed annually.

When is the assessment due?

The first assessment was due on November 15, 2021. Each subsequent assessment is due within 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. For 2022, that means assessments are due:

Quarter Due Date
Quarter 1 May 15, 2022
Quarter 2 August 15, 2022
Quarter 3 November 15, 2022
Quarter 4 February 15, 2023

How do employers submit the assessment?

Reports and assessments are submitted through the WAPAL Fund Online Assessment System. Employers report each covered life for the quarter and submit the $0.13 for each covered life. Even if an employer has zero covered lives during that quarter, they are still required to file a report. Any late assessments may be subject to interest charges and civil penalties.

Many TPAs have been offering to assist employers in paying the quarterly assessments. If you haven’t already, talk to your TPA to see how they can help. Also make sure to register with the WAPAL online assessment system so you can submit reports timely.

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