Cantwell Applauds Launch of Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that employers can begin applying for subsidies to help cover the costs of continuing to provide healthcare to early retirees. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) included the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program which provides $5 billion to help employers, unions, and local and federal government employers maintain health coverage for early retirees. Employees between the ages of 55-64 who do not yet qualify for Medicare are eligible for this program.


“This program will provide an opportunity for individuals retiring early to retain the health coverage that they need for themselves, their spouses, and their dependents,” said Senator Cantwell. “Reimbursing employers for a substantial portion of health care costs incurred for early retirees takes a large burden off of employers who want to do the right thing and continue providing health coverage for their retirees in Washington state and around the country.”


Employers can opt into the program, which covers up to 80 percent of the employer's costs for early retiree health benefits – costs ranging from $15,000 to $90,000, and for health care services including medical, surgical, hospital, prescription drug, and mental health care.  Employers will be reimbursed for claims submitted after June 1, 2010.  The program runs until 2014, when early retirees will be able to select from a range of health coverage options available on state health insurance exchanges. 


  • For a fact sheet on the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, click here.
  • For Early Retire Reinsurance Program application instructions, click here.
  • For an Early Retire Reinsurance Program application, click here.