Beating the deadline of June 21, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released regulations to commence the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program on June 1 as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The program will reimburse employers who provide health insurance for retirees between the ages of 55 and 65 (in other words, for early retirees not yet eligible for Medicare) between now and Jan. 1, 2014, when the state-run health insurance exchanges will provide services for these people.

PPACA earmarked $5 billion for the program’s operation through the end of 2013 (which may prove to be vastly insufficient) and will reimburse any health plan, even those that are self-insured, that covers early retirees.

Employers, stay abreast of your rights and obligations under federal health insurance-related laws and regulations by visiting our HIPAA-COBRA section and checking out our array of fine references, posters and compliance kits that are available.