Tucson, Ariz.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today highlighted the news that approximately 3,600 employers and unions nationwide have already begun to participate in the new Early Retiree Reinsurance Program created by this year’s Affordable Care Act health reform law. The program reimburses participating employment-based plans for a portion of the costs of health benefits for early retirees and early retirees’ spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) earlier this week released a list of employers and unions accepted into the program, and new applications are still being accepted.
“This program means lower out-of-pocket health expenses all over Southern Arizona and the entire nation,” Grijalva said of the announcement. “Employers and unions absolutely need some relief from the high costs of health care coverage in this country, and this is part of bringing them that relief. Everyone paying for early retiree coverage should be aware of how this program can help them reduce costs without cutting benefits for those who have earned them.”
The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers and unions to help them maintain coverage for early retirees ages 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare. Savings may be used to reduce employer or union health care costs, provide premium or out-of-pocket relief to workers, retirees, and their families, or both. The program ends on Jan. 1, 2014, when new state-based Health Insurance Exchanges will be up and running.
Employers and unions interested in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program should visit the program’s Web site or call 1-877-574-3777 or 877-574-ERRP. Employers and unions can find the application form, application instructions and other useful information at the site