Early retiree health care program almost out of cashby Elizabeth Stawicki, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A program subsidizing the health care costs of early retirees will run out of money two years early.
Over 160 Minnesota companies, labor unions and state governments participated in the program funded by the federal health care law.
The program was designed to help them shoulder the health costs of employees who retired before were old enough to qualify for Medicare.
Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges said the program helped the city hold its insurance premium increases to about 3 percent for both retirees and current employees.
"This was money basically to offset the cost of health care for the retirees," Hentges said. "I suspect what's going to happen is that we will go back to double-digit cost for our health insurance plan."
The program paid most of an early retiree's medical costs when they reached a total between $15,000 and $90,000.
By last week the program had paid out 90 percent of the $5 billion Congress allocated.