Benefits

Most Firms to Seek Early Retiree Care Subsidy

By Staff Report

May. 25, 2010

Just more than three-quarters of large employers with early retiree health care plans intend to seek partial reimbursement of claims’ costs under a program established by the federal health care reform law, according to a survey released Tuesday, May 25.


Under the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, the government will reimburse employers for a portion of health care claims incurred by retirees who are at least age 55 but not eligible for Medicare, as well as claims incurred for retirees’ covered dependents regardless of age.


Following a plan sponsor’s application and filing of claim information, reimbursements would begin after a participant in an early retiree plan incurs $15,000 in health care claims in a plan year. After that, the government will reimburse plan sponsors for 80 percent of a participant’s claims up to $90,000 during a plan year.


In a survey of 245 large employers released Tuesday, Hewitt Associates found that 76 percent with early retiree health care plans intend to seek reimbursement under the program.


Hewitt estimates that the reimbursement could amount to between $2,000 and $3,000 per pre-65 adult enrolled in their plans, or about 25 to 35 percent of total plan costs. Whether employers will collect that much remains to be seen.


That’s because only $5 billion has been authorized for the program and the money could run out fast. Reimbursement will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.


“Because so many companies plan to apply for the ERRP, employers will need to act quickly to secure a share of the proceeds, since the federal funds earmarked for this program are limited,” Milind Desai, a senior consulting actuary in Hewitt’s Waltham, Massachusetts, office, said in a statement.


Sixty-six percent of employers said they have not decided how they would use the proceeds, as they await regulatory guidance.


“Most employers are still looking for more details about how these funds can and cannot be used,” John Grosso, a senior consulting actuary in Hewitt’s Norwalk, Connecticut, office, said in a statement.


In general, the reimbursement must be used to reduce employers’ and/or retirees’ health care costs.


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

Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.

About Workforce.com

blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Benefits

EEOC says that employers legally can offer incentives to employees to get vaccinated in almost all instances

If you’re an employer looking to get as many of your employees vaccinated as possible, you can rest eas...

ADA, CDC, COVID-19, EEOC, GINA, pandemic, vaccinated

workforce blog

Benefits

Fixing some common misconceptions about HIPAA

Ever since the CDC amended its COVID-19 guidance to say that the fully vaccinated no longer need to wea...

COVID-19, health care, HIPAA, human resources, wellness

workforce blog

Benefits

We are in the midst of a public mental health crisis; how employers can help

Do not ignore these issues or your employees who are living with them. Mental health illnesses are no d...

ADA, benefits, Coronavirus, FMLA, mental health, paid time off