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Federal judge grants class-action status in ACA payments appeal


A federal judge last week granted class-action status to health insurers that failed to receive payments as part of an Affordable Care Act consumer assistance initiative that President Donald Trump ended last October, Best’s Insurance News reported. The ruling by Judge Margaret Sweeney of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims granted class certification in a lawsuit filed by Wisconsin-based Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative seeking payments through the Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) program. There are potentially about 280 insurers that could join the class, the judge said. The federal government argued that CSR relief should be mitigated by the fact that insurers were allowed to increase premiums for 2018 on silver plans sold on the ACA exchanges to offset the loss of the CSR payments, a practice known as silver loading. If the ruling stands up on appeal, the federal government could be liable for up to $100 billion over a decade, according to an Indiana University health policy researcher. 

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