Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the first round of applicants accepted into the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. Out of the nearly 2,000 accepted applicants nationwide, 50 Maryland employers including businesses, county and local governments, educational institutions, not-for-profits, and unions, have been accepted into the program and will begin to receive reimbursements for employee claims this fall. Applications for this program are still being accepted.
"Health reform is helping provide access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans, and the Early Retiree Reinsurance program makes sure that early Retirees too young to qualify for Medicare have peace of mind and knowing their employers will continue offering them promised health benefits." said Rep. Hoyer. "For far too long, American families and businesses struggled with the skyrocketing costs of health care, and today's announcement is just another example of how health insurance reform is working to make health care more affordable and accessible."
The Affordable Care Act created the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, which provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers and unions to help them maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare. This temporary program, created as a bridge to the new health insurance Exchanges in 2014, will make it easier for employers to provide early retirees coverage and will provide premium relief of up to $1,200 for every family with insurance through those employers. Businesses and other employers and unions that are accepted into the program will receive reimbursement for medical claims for early retirees and their spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents. Savings can be used to reduce employer health care costs, provide premium relief to workers and families, or both. The program ends on January 1, 2014 when State health insurance Exchanges are up and running.
For more information about the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program and a list of approved applications by State, go to this website http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/early_retiree_reinsurance_program.html