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The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight

 

Early Retirees and the Affordable Care Act

For millions of Americans, retiring early (ages 55-64) has meant losing the security and the peace of mind that come with employer-sponsored health insurance.  Today, fewer and fewer employers offer coverage for workers who retire early.  In fact, only 1 in 3 large employers offers retiree health coverage of any kind. 

Buying private insurance is often impossible due to very high premiums or common exclusions on account of pre-existing health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.

The Affordable Care Act helps early retirees by controlling costs for them, their families and their former employers, improving the quality of care for everyone, and strengthening Medicare. The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program provides much needed relief – for early retirees and for businesses.  Here’s how:

  • The Affordable Care Act provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers to help them maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare, and their spouses, surviving spouses and dependents.  
  • Employers can use the savings to reduce their own health care costs, provide premium relief to their workers and their workers’ families, or a combination of both.
  • This will make it easier for employers to sustain benefits for the workers who made their companies strong--and give retired workers the peace of mind that comes with employer-sponsored health insurance.

This program will bridge the gap until 2014 when the new Health Insurance Exchanges open.  Americans with low to middle incomes will be eligible for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions to help them purchase coverage in an Exchange. These  policies will cover essential benefits and have reasonable cost-sharing. 

And, most importantly, they will not be able to refuse to cover you or charge you a premium based on your health status.

Learn more about the Affordable Care Act and Early Retirees