Insurers to Get High Court Audience on $12B Obamacare Fight

WASHINGTON (CN) – Taking up what could be a key case for the next term, the Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether the government owes $12 billion to insurance companies that lost money under the health care law overhaul known as the Affordable Care Act.

Per its custom, the court did not issue any comment in consolidating three cases from Maine Community Health Options, Moda Health Plan Inc., and Land of Lincoln Mutual Health.

The cases involve a program in President Barack Obama’s health care known as risk corridors where profitable insurance providers paid into a pool that was meant to be divvied among insurers that had higher-than-expected costs.

The program was meant to prevent insurers from drastically raising their premiums in the first three years the Affordable Care Act, but the money in the pool quickly dried up and the federal government was left on the hook for billions.

Congress in 2014 included a provision in the federal budget that requires the risk corridors program to be revenue neutral, meaning it could only make payments to insurers using money that came into the fund. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the same year that it would only pay back 12.6 percent of what insurers claimed under the program, leading to a string of lawsuits.

For its part, Maine Community Health Options demanded reimbursement for roughly $23 million under the risk corridors program.

Maine Community Health is represented by Crowell & Moring; Moda Health by Kirkland & Ellis; and Land of Lincoln by Massey & Gail.

The justices did not comment on Monday on their refusal to consider a challenge by steel importers and other users of imported steel to the 25% tariff that President Donald Trump imposed in 2018.

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