A federal judge this week ordered HHS to pay about 100 health insurance plans a total of $1.6 billion in unpaid subsidies.
While the federal government will likely appeal the case, the judgment illustrates the sheer magnitude of the funds the Trump administration could be forced to pay.
The insurers are part of a class action brought by Wisconsin-based Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, which challenged the federal government's failure to pay cost-sharing reduction subsidies that were intended to lower healthcare costs for certain people who bought coverage on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
The amounts owed to each insurer range from tens of thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan is owed the largest amount—$220.3 million for 2017 and 2018 across its plans in several states, according to Modern Healthcare's analysis of damages outlined in the order.
The federal government owes $159 million to Blue Shield of California and $132.1 million to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina to make up for the unpaid cost-sharing reduction subsidies. Utah-based SelectHealth, Dayton, Ohio-based CareSource and Oscar Health, headquartered in New York, are also owed some of the largest amounts.