More than 5,000 employers such as local governments, schools, and nonprofit groups have taken $535 million in federal money to help younger retirees pay for health care, the Health and Human Services Department reported today.
HHS released a report that says the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, created as part of the health care reform law, has paid out funds affecting more than 60,000 people as of the end of December.
“The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program is helping to control health care costs and protect coverage for early retirees and their families,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “This program is providing critical financial relief to help states, private employers and other organizations preserve access to affordable health coverage for millions of Americans.”
The report shows, for instance, that the California Public Employees' Retirement System got $57.8 million.
“The largest share of these reimbursements went to State government-sponsored entities, entities, followed by non-profit, commercial, union, and religious organizations,” the report says.
Congress appropriated $5 billion for the temporary program, for early retirees age 55 and older who are not eligible for Medicare, and their spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents.