Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they will stop accepting applications for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) after May 5, 2011.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a provision that establishes the temporary ERRP. The program provides reimbursement to eligible sponsors of employment-based plans for a portion of the costs of providing health coverage to early retirees, along with their eligible spouses, surviving spouses, or dependents.
In May 2010, CMS published an interim final regulation implementing the program on June 1, 2010. CMS began receiving applications for the program on June 29, 2010.
Under the ACA, the ERRP received $5 billion in funding. However, the ACA, as well as the ERRP interim finals regs, gives the Secretary the authority to stop accepting applications for the program based on the availability of funding. Under the healthcare reform law, the temporary program ends no later than January 1, 2014.
According to the CMS, “Based on the amount of the $5 billion in appropriated program funding that remains available and the rate at which it is being disbursed, we are announcing, under section 1102(f) of the Affordable Care Act, that we will no longer accept applications for the program after May 5, 2011.”
“Should circumstances related to the availability of ERRP funding change, we may decide it is appropriate to resume accepting ERRP applications.”
The application, along with instructions, can be found on http://www.errp.gov. Applications must be received by May 5, postmarks are not sufficient.