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First Round of Approvals in Early Retirement Reinsurance Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the first round of applicants accepted into the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (the ERRP). Nearly 2,000 employers, representing large and small businesses, state and local governments, educational institutions, non-profits, and unions have been accepted into the ERRP and will begin to receive reimbursements for employee claims this fall. See the list of approved applications by state. A broad range of employers representing nearly every sector of the economy from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are included in these first round of approvals with more applications being reviewed every day. The nearly 2,000 approvals are a subset of applications that have been received. HHS is continuing to accept and review additional applications in the order in which they were submitted.

Starting in September, approved applicants can begin submitting claims dating back to June 1, 2010 and, starting in October, approved applicants will begin to receive reinsurance payments on those claims. Created by the new health reform act, the ERRP 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. Businesses and other employers and unions that are accepted into the program will receive reimbursement for medical claims for early retirees and their families. Savings can be used to reduce employer health care costs, provide premium relief to participants, or both.

For more information about the ERRP, visit the new HHS ERRP website where employers and unions can find the application form and application instructions, as well as other relevant guidance and regulations from HHS. A new HHS hotline on the ERRP is also available (877- 574-3777 or 877-574-ERRP).

As new information is issued on health reform, Conner Strong will issue alerts and updates. Should you have any questions, please contact your Conner Strong representative toll-free at 1-877-861-3220.

This Legislative Update is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Readers are urged to contact an attorney for legal advice or assistance.

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