Posts Categorized: Retiree Benefits

ERRP Budget Update

in Affordable Care Act, Retiree Benefits

HHS recently released its fiscal year 2012 budget, which includes projected outlays for the early retiree reimbursement program. As of January 2011, approximately 5,000 plan sponsors have been accepted into the program, and approximately $1 Billion has been distributed to plan sponsors. By the end of fiscal year 2011 (which ends September 30, 2011), HHS projects that it will pay out another $2.6 Billion. This would bring the total distributed to $3.6 Billion by September 30, 2011, leaving only $1.4 Billion to be distributed in fiscal year 2012 (which begins on October 1, 2011). When the Affordable Care Act established… Continue Reading

ERRP Spent $1 Billion in 2010

in Affordable Care Act, Retiree Benefits

Congress appropriated funding of $5 billion for the early retiree reinsurance program.  The program ends when the funds are exhausted or January 1, 2014, whichever is earlier.  HHS announced this week that approximately $1 Billion has been reimbursed through the end of 2010, leaving $4 Billion for the ERRP for 2011 and future periods.

All Quiet in DC this Week

in Health Benefits, Retiree Benefits, Welfare Benefits

Now that the set of Transformers 3 has moved out of DC, it is fairly quite this week.  It appears that everyone is digging out from the avalanche of Affordable Care Act guidance, and waiting for the elections in two weeks.  As you are updating your enrollment guides and summary plan descriptions, and drafting plan document amendments, keep in mind that plaintiffs lawyers love obscurity and inconsistency.  The best way to draft any plan language is to be clear and consistent among your enrollment guides, summary plan descriptions and plan documents.

Retiree Health Plans – Beware of What you Wish for

in Affordable Care Act, Retiree Benefits

Our September 28th blog entry discussed retiree-only plans and that to solidify their exemption from the ACA employers should put those benefits into separate ERISA plans.  For months, some attorneys have been hammering away at the Departments regarding this issue (but I’m not sure why).  Well, now the Departments have addressed the issue, and while it is still inconclusive, I don’t think the end result looks pretty. Today, the Departments issued another round of guidance – called Part III on the DOL website.  The Departments state that they are analyzing the separate versus one ERISA plan issue for the retiree… Continue Reading

Retiree Only Plans – Time is Running Out

in Affordable Care Act, Retiree Benefits

The so-called “retiree-only” plan exception has been around since HIPAA was passed back in 1996.  However, it has taken on new importance now that a retiree-only plan can also be exempt from the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  But, what is this amorphous being?  In the past some employers have claimed that this exception applies at the benefit option level even if retiree options are wrapped together with active employee options in the same ERISA plan.  This position is certainly harder to maintain under the proposed DOL regulations defining a “plan” for Part 7 purposes.  But, clearly if an employer… Continue Reading