The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced additional employers and unions accepted into the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, including a number of applicants in South Carolina. Nearly 1,000 large and small businesses, state and local governments, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and unions have been accepted into the program and will begin to receive reimbursements for their early retirees’ medical claims this fall. The approvals announced today bring the total number of approvals to nearly 3,000 organizations. HHS announced the first round of nearly 2,000 approvals in August.
“I am incredibly pleased to see so many employers embrace this important new program to maintain coverage for people who often have a difficult time finding affordable coverage,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Affordable Care Act helps large and small businesses to provide security to early retirees and their families.”
Secretary Sebelius made the announcement from the Mine Safety Appliances Company (MSA) manufacturing plant in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania – one of the now nearly 3,000 organizations participating in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.
Created by the Affordable Care Act as another bridge to the new health insurance Exchanges in 2014, the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers and unions to help them maintain coverage for early retirees ages 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare. Businesses and other employers and unions that are accepted into the program will receive reimbursement for medical claims of their early retirees and their spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents. Savings may be used to reduce employer or union health care costs, provide premium or out-of-pocket relief to workers, retirees, and their families, or both. The program ends on January 1, 2014, when the State-based health insurance Exchanges will be up and running.
HHS’ Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight has approved nearly 3,000 employer and union plans, representing a broad range of employers and unions from all 50 States and the District of Columbia, for participation in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, with more applications being reviewed every day. In South Carolina, the following 18 organizations have been approved to date, including 9 new organizations.
Anderson Group, Inc.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina
City of Spartanburg
Continental Automotive, Inc.
Continental Tire the Americas, LLC
First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc.*
First Financial Holdings, Inc.*
Giant Cement Holding, Inc
Michelin North America, Inc.*
Mitsubishi Polyester Film, Inc.*
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC
Sonoco Products Company*
Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company*
Spartanburg Steel Products, Inc.
The Loxcreen Company, Inc.*
*Indicates newly approved applicant.
HHS has set up a website, www.ERRP.gov, where sponsors can begin submitting information today to qualify early retirees, spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents for claims reimbursements. Starting in October, sponsors with approved applications who submit funding requests will begin to receive reimbursement for eligible claims.
Employers and unions interested in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program should visit www.ERRP.gov or call 1-877-574-3777 or 877-574-ERRP. Employers and unions can find the application form and application instructions, as well as other relevant guidance and regulations from HHS, online.
More information about the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, a full alphabetical list of participants, and an interactive map displaying participants by state is available online. Going forward, this list will be updated regularly. To find this information, please visit: