Benefits

Early Retiree Reimbursement Approvals Updated Weekly

By Staff Report

Oct. 7, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services now is updating weekly the online list of organizations that have been approved to receive government reimbursement for health care expenses of early retirees and their dependents.


Some 3,000 employers, unions, state and local governments and other early retiree health care plan sponsors already have been approved to receive reimbursement.


Now, the department said Oct. 5, an updated list will be posted once a week. The latest approvals include pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories in Abbott Park, Illinois; the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena; and construction equipment manufacturing giant Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria, Illinois.


The list of organizations and employers approved since Oct. 1 is available online.


In addition, a list of approved organizations by the state in which they are based is available at www.healthcare.gov/law/provisions/retirement.


Under the program, the government will reimburse employers and other sponsors of early retiree health care plans for a portion of claims incurred starting June 1 by retirees who are at least 55 but not eligible for Medicare, as well as covered dependents, regardless of age.


After a participant incurs $15,000 in health care claims in a plan year, the government will reimburse plan sponsors for 80 percent of claims up to $90,000. In general, the reimbursement must be used to reduce employers’ and/or retirees’ health care costs.


Unless Congress authorizes additional funding—considered unlikely—the program will run out of money sometime in 2011, long before its Dec. 31, 2013, expiration, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington.  


Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.


 


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