Nearly 1,000 additional employers and unions will receive help providing health coverage to early retirees and their families
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Nearly 1,000 additional employers and unions will receive help providing health coverage to early retirees and their families

Columbia : SC : USA | Oct 04, 2010 at 2:29 PM PDT
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total of nearly 3,000 employers and unions has been approved to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s Early Retiree Reinsurance Program to date; applications still being accepted

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced additional employers and unions accepted into the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. Nearly 1,000 large and small businesses, State and local governments, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and unions have been accepted into the program and will begin to receive reimbursements for their early retirees’ medical claims this fall. The approvals announced today bring the total number of approvals to nearly 3,000 organizations. HHS announced the first round of nearly 2,000 approvals in August.

“I am incredibly pleased to see so many employers embrace this important new program to maintain coverage for people who often have a difficult time finding affordable coverage," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Affordable Care Act helps large and small businesses to provide security to early retirees and their families.”

Secretary Sebelius made the announcement from the Mine Safety Appliances Company manufacturing plant in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania – one of the now nearly 3,000 organizations participating in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.

Created by the Affordable Care Act as another bridge to the new health insurance Exchanges in 2014, 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. Businesses and other employers and unions that are accepted into the program will receive reimbursement for medical claims of their early retirees and their spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents. 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 January 1, 2014, when the State-based health insurance Exchanges will be up and running.

HHS’ Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight has approved nearly 3,000 employer and union plans, representing a broad range of employers and unions from all 50 States and the District of Columbia, for participation in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, with more applications being reviewed every day. HHS has set up a website, www.ERRP.gov, where sponsors can begin submitting information today to qualify early retirees, spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents for claims reimbursements. Starting in October, sponsors with approved applications who submit funding requests will begin to receive reimbursement for eligible claims.

Employers and unions interested in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program should visit www.ERRP.gov or call 1-877-574-3777 or 877-574-ERRP. Employers and unions can find the application form and application instructions, as well as other relevant guidance and regulations from HHS, online.

More information about the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, a full alphabetical list of participants, and an interactive map displaying participants by State is available online. Going forward, this list will be updated every Friday. To find this information, please visit:

http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/early_retiree_reinsurance_program.html.

LouiseRoys is based in Lowell, Indiana, United States of America, and is a Stringer for Allvoices.
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