Seeking to win support for the new health care reform law from skeptical older Americans and business people, the White House on Tuesday announced that is moving forward promptly with a provision that would reimburse some of the claims for employer-based early retiree health care programs.
The new law includes $5 billion to reimburse employers for 80 percent of the cost of claims between $15,000 and $90,000 a year for retired workers aged 55 or older who are not eligible for Medicare. The money must be used to lower plan costs and/or reduce participant costs.
The program is available only for existing self-funded and insured employer-based early retiree health plans and does not apply to individual coverage or new early retiree plans, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explained during a Wednesday webinar. It will be available for eligible costs incurred between June 1, 2010, and Jan. 1, 2014.
Detailed regulations will be available in about two weeks and application forms will be available in late June, Sebelius said.
Read more in the New York Times story, including reaction from the Business Roundtable, and in the White House fact sheet. And watch for the June issue of InsideCounsel for much more on how the new health care legislation will impact employers.