June 01, 2020
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Maine Obamacare insurer continues court fight for $23 million from feds

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York, Oct. 2, 2013.

A Maine insurance co-op says it’s appealing a federal court decision to dismiss the co-op’s lawsuit against the U.S. government.

In the lawsuit filed a year ago, Community Health Options argued that it’s owed $23 million in back payments under the Affordable Care Act’s risk corridor program. That program was a temporary one designed to help stabilize the insurance market for higher-than-expected costs.

But the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled this week that CHO could not claim the money because Congress barred the use of public funds for the program.

The CEO of the co-op, Kevin Lewis, says Community Health Options is appealing that decision. “I don’t think it’s a question in the eyes of anyone, including the defendant, of the nature of the risk corridors program and the ultimate liability to pay out these claims.”

Lewis says the financial stability of Community Health Options is not dependent on the lawsuit, but restoring the money would benefit its members and future prospects.

This report appears as part of a media partnership with Maine Public.


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