Health and Safety

Health Care Reform Series: Brought to you by Empire BlueCross BlueShield

What does the Early Retiree Reinsurance Subsidy mean to Taft-Hartley Funds and other employers?

The Early Retiree Reinsurance Subsidy provides $5 billion to Taft-Hartley Funds and other employers to help them maintain health coverage for early retirees ages 55-64, their spouses, surviving spouses and dependents. Applications are be available from the Department of Health and Human Services and will be processed on first-come, first-served basis.

High Level Program Requirements:
The key elements of the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program are:

  • The program regulations became effective June 1, 2010.
    By law, the program will expire on January 1, 2014, or when the $5 billion Congress allocated through the legislation is exhausted.
    The program applies to fully insured and self-insured groups
    providing early retiree coverage. All groups (except federal governmental plans) are eligible, regardless of size.

Which employers are eligible for the early retiree reinsurance program?
Employment-based plans that provide health benefits to early retirees are eligible to participate in the program.

For example:

  •  state and municipal plans
  • plans maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement
  • church plans
  • other ERISA-qualified plans

You can access a fact sheet and additional information by visiting the US Department of Health and Human Services at http://www.hhs.gov/ociio/regulations/index.html.

July 22, 2010

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