Stabenow-Kerry Program to Lower Health Care Costs for Early Retirees and Businesses Moving Forward
Today, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was pleased that President Obama announced the Stabenow-Kerry Early Retiree Reinsurance Program , which was authored by Stabenow and her colleague Senator John Kerry (D-MA) as part of the Affordable Care Act. Individuals who are 55 and older but not yet eligible for Medicare will see significant savings if they get insurance through their former employer. Under the program, the Federal government will help those company plans pay for coverage if an early retiree becomes seriously ill. By covering these catastrophic cases, early retirees and Michigan businesses will save money on their insurance premiums.
"Over 190,000 retirees in Michigan receive health insurance through their former employers and continue to face astronomical health insurance costs," said Stabenow. "I authored this program to help Michigan businesses pay for health coverage when someone becomes very ill, lowering the cost of health insurance for employers and retirees alike. I encourage all eligible businesses to apply this summer to take advantage of this important program."
In order to receive assistance, eligible businesses must apply for the program through the Department of Health and Human Services. Applications will be available in June. To receive assistance, insurance plans would have to put in place programs that have the potential to save money for participants with chronic and high-cost conditions.
After the program goes into effect on June 1, 2010, the program would pay 80% of an individual's health costs if those costs were between $15,000 and $90,000. Both self-funded and insured plans can apply, including plans sponsored by private entities, state and local governments, nonprofits, religious entities, unions, and other employers.