The CMS has reiterated its desire to pay out risk corridors payments despite the massive shortfall in the near term.
According to a memo, if health insurers are still owed money under the risk corridors program for 2016, HHS “will explore other sources of funding for risk corridors payments, subject to the availability of appropriations. This includes working with Congress on the necessary funding for outstanding risk corridors payments.” The CMS gave similar reassurances when the agency first announced it would be paying out only 12.6% of risk corridors requests for 2014 claims, leaving $2.5 billion of requested funds in purgatory. The risk corridors program, one of three health insurance risk programs established by the Affordable Care Act, helps mitigate insurers’ losses in the early years of the insurance marketplaces. The risk corridors program expires after 2016.