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Nationally less than one in three large firms offer health benefits to retirees. Premiums and deductibles for early retirees can be four times as much as for younger workers. National health reform included $5 billion for a temporary reinsurance program to help subsidize employer-sponsored retiree coverage for early retirees over age 55 but not yet eligible for Medicare. The program covers 80% of the costs of care for individuals between $15,000 and $90,000 in claims. HHS just approved the applications of forty seven CT employers for the program including the state employee plan. The plan is intended to continue until 2014 when state insurance exchanges will offer everyone affordable options. However, analysts estimate that the $5 billion appropriation is not enough and may run out as soon as 2012.
Ellen Andrews