A quick update on the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP):  Over the past few months, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been busy gearing up for the implementation of the ERRP. As you may recall from our earlier posts (1, 2, 3), this is a program that’s part of the larger healthcare reform bill and is intended to help employer-sponsored retiree health plans by providing government reimbursement for certain large claim amounts.

Here’s a quick update on HHS’ progress to-date.

1. The HHS posted a new version of the final application to participate in the ERRP. It also clarified that priority status for claims reimbursement is not directly tied to the order your application is received, but rather the order that your claims reimbursement filing is received. Of course, you can’t file a claim reimbursement until your program participation application has been approved so that is still the first step.

2. The ERRP has its own website that does a good job of explaining the whole reimbursement process and contains links to all of the required forms. The application page also has links to several FAQ documents and detailed application instructions.

3. The “News” section of the ERRP website is likely going to be a busy place over the next few weeks and months as plan sponsors anticipate receiving the final details on how to submit their claims filings. Question C1 on the ERRP FAQ page states that HHS is still working on the infrastructure to begin accepting claims filings. The first step, completed on August 30, 2010, was to launch the secure webpage where plan sponsor’s can set up an account to submit claims (when that function is finally available).

4. There’s a neat page on the larger healthcare reform website which lets you see which retiree medical plans in your state have had their ERRP participation application approved already (use the drop-down menu on the bottom of the page to select your state).