Bright, Friday Risk Adjustment Defaults Could Set Bad Precedent

Recently, CMS revealed that health insurers Bright Health Group, Inc. and Friday Health Plans Management Services Company, Inc., have failed to pay $1.1 billion that they owe to other health insurers through the Affordable Care Act’s risk adjustment program. While Friday will never be able to pay its share — since state regulators have taken over the failed insurer — the government’s repayment agreement with Bright is raising questions about whether the current rules governing ACA risk adjustment need an overhaul.

“Insurers that attract high-cost enrollees need to be able to count on being compensated by the risk adjustment system, and if they’re not going to be compensated, then insurers will be less willing to offer generous plan designs,” Matthew Fiedler, Ph.D., a fellow with the Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, tells AIS Health, a division of MMIT.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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