Obamacare insurers will not receive any payments for the 2015 coverage year from a federal program designed to help them ease losses.
Insurers are asking for about $5.8 billion from the federal government for 2015 in Obamacare's risk corridor program, according to an estimate from Brian Blase of the right-leaning think tank Mercatus Center. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said last week that all payments would go toward paying off the money owed the insurers for 2014.
For the 2014 coverage year, insurers requested about $2.8 billion in payments but only received 12 percent of that, or about $362 million. Now insurers are requesting even more for 2015.
The risk corridor program was one of three intended to mitigate early losses in Obamacare.
Under the program, which expires after the end of this year, insurers pay into it if they have big profits and receive money to offset major losses.
But the program hasn't worked as intended, as the Obamacare marketplace hasn't been as profitable as first predicted. The Congressional Budget Office in 2014 projected the program would run an $8 billion surplus.