Health care reform program set to begin June 1
May 4, 2010
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today announced that the Department of Health and Human Services will begin the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (EERP) on June 1, 2010, to help businesses maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who don’t yet qualify for Medicare. The Program will receive $5 billion in funding through The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and was slated to begin operating on June 21, 2010. By beginning the Program early, however, more claims will qualify for reinsurance payments this year.
“I’m pleased that yet another provision of health care reform will take effect sooner than required by the new law,” Reid said. “This is a clear example of health care reform providing significant assistance to our nation’s businesses and seniors while also increasing access to quality, affordable care. These savings will help the bottom line of companies in Nevada and across the country and could lead to more Nevadans finding jobs. It will also help our early retirees since employers will be more likely to retain their insurance coverage while they await Medicare eligibility.”
Employers may use the funding to reduce their own health care costs, to provide premium relief to their workers and families, or for a combination of both. Employers will be reimbursed for up to 80 percent of retiree health claims that total between $15,000 and $90,000 and are incurred after June 1, 2010.
In 2008, only 31 percent of large firms offered coverage to retirees, a drop from 66 percent in 1988. This new program is designed to curb those reductions in coverage and, like the high risk pool program beginning next month, reduce the number of uninsured Nevadans during the transition to new coverage options.