Washington, D.C. – Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to investigate the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ decision (HHS) to shift money away from taxpayers to pay off insurers.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FOIA REQUEST
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the transitional reinsurance program that requires HHS to make payments to health insurers who enroll high-risk individuals and deposit a portion of the contributions from insurers into the U.S. Treasury. Unfortunately for taxpayers, it appears when HHS collected less funds than required by the ACA, the agency decided to allocate all transitional reinsurance program funding to health insurers, depriving taxpayers of billions of dollars.
CoA Institute President and CEO, and former federal judge, Alfred J. Lechner, Jr.:
“COA Institute seeks to understand why the Obama Administration bailed out insurance companies with money that should have been returned to the U.S. Treasury to benefit taxpayers. Providing insurers with the entire contribution from the transitional reinsurance program is not the intention of section 1341(b)(4) of the Affordable Care Act. American taxpayers have a right to know why the Obama Administration skirted the law and gave money intended for the U.S. Treasury to insurance companies.”
Section 1341 of the ACA created the transitional reinsurance program. This program requires that HHS collect reinsurance contributions from health insurance providers and third party administrators on behalf of group health plans. In order to comply with the law, HHS was supposed to use those contributions to make payments to health insurers who enroll high-risk individuals and deposit a portion of the contributions in the U.S. Treasury. In total for 2014, 2015, and 2016, taxpayers were scheduled to receive $5 billion. According to the Congressional Research Service, providing the entire contribution from the transitional reinsurance program to health insurance providers is “in conflict with a plain reading of 1341(b)(4).”
CoA Institute requests documents and communications to understand the Obama Administration’s decision to use taxpayer money to pay off health insurance companies. The full FOIA request is available HERE.