US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Harkin Applauds Program to Reinsure Early Retirees

Tuesday, June 29, 2010Kate Cyrul / Bergen Kenny (202) 224-3254

Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today applauded the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (OCIIO) for beginning to accept applications into the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP).  This program was created to provide a bridge for employers, including businesses, unions, state and local governments and nonprofits, so retirees can obtain quality, affordable insurance prior to the opening of the health insurance Exchanges in 2014.  Harkin is chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and helped write the recently passed Affordable Care Act, which contained this program.

“As health care costs skyrocketed, many employers were not able to provide quality, affordable insurance for their workers and retirees.  Health reform provided relief to these employers though the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program by providing much-needed relief for older workers who are not yet eligible for Medicare,” said Harkin.  “The establishment of this program is another example of the promise of health reform becoming a reality and I encourage all eligible employers to sign up for this program.”

Employers with self-funded and insured plans can apply, including private companies, state and local governments, nonprofits, religious organizations, unions operating employee benefit plans and other employers.  Applications are now available online at www.hhs.gov/ociio.  The program ends on January 1, 2014 when early retirees will be able to choose from the additional coverage options that will be available in the health insurance Exchanges.
 

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