The government will no longer be accepting applications for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) after May 5, 2011. ERRP offers reimbursements to employers that have early retiree healthcare plans. For an employer’s health insurance plan to qualify for the reimbursements available under the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, the employer’s plan must include provisions that generate (or have the potential to generate) cost savings for participants with chronic and high-cost conditions. The employer must maintain policies and procedures to detect and reduce fraud, waste and abuse and must have a written agreement in place permitting required disclosures between the plan, insurer (if applicable) and employer.

For purposes of ERRP, “early retirees” are participants in an employer-sponsored health insurance plan who are age 55 or older, are not active employees, and are not eligible for Medicare. The term includes the spouse and other dependents of the retiree, regardless of their age and Medicare eligibility. Once a retiree plan incurs $15,000 in medical claims in a plan year, the ERRP will reimburse 80% of additional claims up to a $90,000 cap.

The program was originally set to expire on January 1, 2014, or the date the $5 billion allocated for the program is depleted, if earlier. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has stated that after receiving 5,400 applications, there are enough plan sponsors enrolled to exhaust the program’s $5 billion in funding. To date, $1.8 billion has been paid to about 1,300 plan sponsors.

If you wish to apply for the program, you can use the following links to the ERRP_Application_Instructions[1].pdf and ERRP_Application[1].pdf(PDFs). For more information on the program, including FAQs, go to the government website on the program.