A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has awarded $1.6 billion in damages to health insurers affected by the United States of America’s refusal to make Affordable Care Act (ACA) cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments for 2017 and 2018.
Chief Judge Margaret Sweeney, a judge at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, approved an insurer damages list last week, in connection with the case Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative et al. v. United States of America.
Sweeney noted in the order approving the damages list that the court concluded in February that the U.S. government’s refusal to make ACA cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments violated federal law.
Sweeney was appointed to the court by former President George W. Bush. She was designated chief judge by President Donald Trump in 2018.
One factor that could help increase the odds that the ruling will stick is that some of the biggest recipients of back cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments could be carriers in states heavily represented by Republicans in Congress.
About 100 carriers are on the list.
The carrier in line to seek the biggest award is Blue Shield of California, with a $159 million damages award approval.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina ranks second, with a $132 million award approval, and SelectHealth, a Utah carrier, ranks third, with a $107 million award approval.
Affiliates of Oscar, a carrier co-founded by Joshua Kushner, could get $70 million.