AHIP's EVP Matthew Eyles: The ACA's risk corridors program is 'time-tested,' 'bipartisan'

The Affordable Care Act's risk corridors program — which levels the financial playing field for payers taking on newly insured, costlier patients — has received misguided criticism, Matthew Eyles, executive vice president of policy and regulatory affairs for America's Health Insurance Plans, wrote in an opinion letter for The Wall Street Journal.

"This risk corridors program is a time-tested policy that has been used on a bipartisan basis as part of many insurance initiatives, including Medicare's highly successful prescription drug program," Mr. Eyles wrote.

The way it works is insurers pay into the program if their premiums exceed claims and other costs by a set amount. These funds are funneled back to payers whose claims surpassed premiums by a set amount — essentially leveling risk across the newly insured population. The risk corridors program has received significant criticism — in particular from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mr. Eyles notes — and because the program fell short by more than $2.5 billion in its first year.

Despite these claims, Mr. Eyles wrote that Congress must move forward with bipartisan solutions to continue to make progress on ensuring all Americans have access to affordable healthcare.

 

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