SHPS Introduces CDHPs for Retirees

December 13, 2005 ( - Health management firm SHPS has announced a new approach to retiree health care that can help reduce employers' health care costs while retaining retiree benefits - consumer-directed retiree health plans (CDRHPs).

With the CDRHP, an employer would credit money to an employee’s tax-free retiree health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), based on factors such as years of service and the retiree could then choose coverage from a variety of Medicare prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans.   The company’s contributions may accrue during the employee’s active lifetime, during retirement or both, and near-eligible retirees may be grandfathered into the plans.

Medicare-eligible retirees could use the employer contributions to pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses not covered by Medicare or they could use the employer contribution to pay Medicare Part B and D premiums and co-payments, which enables the retiree to choose a health plan that best meets their coverage needs.

The retiree is also provided with debit cards, access to Web-based cost and quality information and a retiree support call center.   In addition, the CDRHP can be combined with other health management programs such as disease management and 24-hour nurse line programs.

“Despite the escalating financial crisis facing American companies and their workers as they become increasingly burdened with health care costs, employers must keep their commitment to supporting current and future retirees,” said Rishabh Mehrotra, SHPS’ president, human resource services and chief technology officer, in the announcement.

SHPS’ Web site is .