Waivers Information

The Whole Washington Health Trust includes an implementation plan that can begin without waivers.

Federal Funds

The Whole Washington Health Trust instructs the Health Care Authority to contract with existing agencies to administer programs like Medicaid and Medicare, allowing them to receive the funding they do today.

Additionally, the bill provides legal instructions to obtain all waivers to fully integrate federal funds into the trust. While this achievement will improve efficiency in administration, it’s not necessary to start or stay solvent. 

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State-based universal healthcare systems are not prohibited under ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Securities Act). The Whole Washington Health Trust is specifically designed to be ERISA compliant. It’s modeled on a San Francisco program that survived an ERISA challenge in our federal circuit court, the 9th.

The WWHT does not require ERISA employers to participate in the trust. It permits these employers to continue with their plan, but employers must fund their plans at the minimum trust level of 8.5% of payroll. These employers also have the option to enroll their employees in the trust at either a full or supplemental level.

Once 51% of Washington State residents enroll in the trust, all employers with employees in WA must either fund their ERISA plan at 8.5% or submit that 8.5% to the Employment Security Department.

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