The health care legislation enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish an early retiree reinsurance program (ERRP), which must be operational within 90 days after enactment.
Recently, HHS released interim final rules relating to the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program and called for a 30-day public comment. This week, HHS published the official ERRP application, official application instructions and application submission "dos and don'ts"(including the address for submitting an application). All of these documents may be accessed through the following link:http://www.hhs.gov/ociio/regulations/index.html#early_retiree
In general, the program provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers to offset a portion of the costs of providing health coverage for early retirees, ages 55-64, who are not yet eligible for Medicare and their spouses, surviving spouses and dependents.
The interim final rule was effective on June 1, 2010. Applications are expected to be accepted and processed by HHS on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will end on January 1, 2014, or when the $5 billion Congress allocated through the legislation is exhausted.