The $5 billion reinsurance program that provides health benefits to retirees who are over age 55 and not yet eligible for Medicare will likely dry up in two years, according to a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. This would be two years ahead of the program’s planned termination date.

Congress appropriated the funds for sponsors of employment-based health plans effective June 1 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The program gives an 80% subsidy for retiree claims of between $15,000 and $90,000. The funding plan is designed to terminate on Jan. 1, 2014.

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