[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 65 (Tuesday, April 5, 2011)]
[Pages 18766-18767]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-7934]



Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services


Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

AGENCY: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice announces that CMS is exercising its authority 
under section 1102(f) of the Affordable Care Act to stop accepting 
applications for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, due to the 
availability of funds, as of May 5, 2011.

DATES: Effective Date: This notice is effective March 31, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Mlawsky, (410) 786-6851.


I. Background

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148, 
enacted on March 23, 2010) (the Affordable Care Act), included a 
provision that establishes the temporary Early Retiree Reinsurance 
Program (ERRP), which provides reimbursement to eligible sponsors of 
employment-based plans for a portion of the costs of providing health 
coverage to early retirees (and eligible spouses, surviving spouses, 
and dependents of such retirees). Section 1102(a)(1) of the Affordable 
Care Act, which is codified at 42 U.S.C. 18002(a)(1), requires the 
Secretary to establish the program within 90 days of enactment of the 
law (by June 21, 2010). On May 5, 2010, we published an

[[Page 18767]]

interim final regulation with comment period in the Federal Register 
(75 FR 24450), implementing the program as of June 1, 2010. Section 
1102(e) of the Affordable Care Act appropriates funding of $5 billion 
for the temporary program, which ends no later than January 1, 2014. To 
participate in the program, an employment-based plan must submit an 
application to the Secretary. A copy of the application can be found at 
http://www.errp.gov. Section 1102(f) of the Affordable Care Act grants 
the Secretary the authority to stop taking applications for 
participation in the program based on the availability of funding under 
section 1102(e) of the Affordable Care Act. The ERRP interim final 
regulation also grants the Secretary such authority (75 FR 24456).

II. Provisions of the Notice

    Based on the amount of the $5 billion in appropriated program 
funding that remains available and the rate at which it is being 
disbursed, we are announcing, under section 1102(f) of the Affordable 
Care Act, that we will no longer accept applications for the program 
after May 5, 2011. We have projected the availability of program 
funding based on the rate at which appropriated funds are currently 
being used to reimburse plan sponsors, and we have concluded that we 
have approved a sufficient number of applications to exhaust the 
program funding. Applications were first accepted by the ERRP on June 
29, 2010, and therefore, plan sponsors have so far had 9 months to 
submit applications if desired. As a result of this agency action, any 
program applications that CMS receives after May 5, 2011 will not be 
accepted for processing. Applications must be received in the program's 
Intake Center on or before May 5, 2011, to be accepted for processing. 
A copy of the application, as well as information on how to complete 
and send it, and where to send it, can be found on http://www.errp.gov. 
Merely postmarking an application before this date will not be 
sufficient. We will post additional information about the mechanics of 
not accepting such applications for processing, such as how we will 
respond upon receiving such an application, on http://www.errp.gov.
    We note that our decision to no longer accept applications after 
May 5, 2011, is based on the actual availability of remaining 
appropriated ERRP funds and the rate at which we have been disbursing 
reimbursement, as opposed to the projected amounts of ERRP 
reimbursements that applicants listed in their ERRP applications. 
Should circumstances related to the availability of ERRP funding 
change, we may decide it is appropriate to resume accepting ERRP 
applications. If this occurs, we will provide such notice in the 
Federal Register.

III. Collection of Information Requirements

    This document does not impose information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. So, it need not be reviewed by the Office 
of Management and Budget under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995.

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 18002(f).

    Dated: March 29, 2011.
Donald M. Berwick,
Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
[FR Doc. 2011-7934 Filed 3-31-11; 4:15 pm]