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WASHINGTONThe Department of Health and Health Services said Monday that it expects to distribute about $3.6 billion in reimbursements during fiscal 2011 to employers and other sponsors of early retiree health care plans.
The remaining $1.4 billion of the $5 billion fund authorized under last year’s health care reform law would be distributed during fiscal 2012, HHS said as part of budget documents.
The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
As of Jan. 25, more than 5,000 plan sponsors had been approved to participate in the program and about $1 billion had been distributed, HHS said.
Under the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, the government reimburses sponsors of early retiree health care plans for a portion of claims incurred starting June 1, 2010, by retirees who were at least 55 but not eligible for Medicare, as well as their covered dependents, regardless of age.
After a participant incurs $15,000 in health care claims in a plan year, the government will reimburse plan sponsors for 80% of an enrollee’s claims up to $90,000.
In general, the reimbursement must be used to reduce employers’ and/or retirees’ health care costs.