County agencies approved for federal subsidies for early retirees

By City News Service

Five San Diego County companies and agencies Wednesday were among the first 2,000 employers and unions nationwide to be approved for federal subsidies to provide health care for early retirees.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the first batch of approved applications for President Barack Obama’s $5 billion federal Early Retire Reinsurance Program on Tuesday.

Companies and agencies in San Diego County that made the list so far include the Carlsbad Unified School District, city of Escondido, San Diego County Teamsters-Employers Insurance Trust, San Diego County Employees Retirement Association and the San Diego Transit International Brothers of Electrical Workers 465, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Under the program, people age 55 or older who retire before becoming eligible for Medicare receive temporary insurance through their former employer and said employers receive 80 percent reimbursement of the insurance cost