Health insurance companies are poised to make billions in settlements for the medical malprices of their employees and patients.
But, according to the National Insurance Institute, it could cost $15.6 billion in legal fees for the same companies in the next five years.
That’s a far cry from the $18.3 billion a year that the insurers spent to settle their claims in the last fiscal year, the institute said in a new report.
The settlement is the result of a law enacted in 2014, which requires insurers to provide a guarantee to cover medical malpractices, or other claims.
But many states have taken the bait.
The states that have not yet signed onto the law are Nevada, Illinois, Maine, and Wisconsin.
“We don’t have a lot of other states that are ready to jump in, but I think the idea is very attractive,” said Robert Gilder, senior vice president for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
“There’s a real possibility that some of the states that haven’t signed on to the ACA are going to be more receptive,” he added.
“They could be willing to help with some of these settlements.”
The law that created the settlement guarantee was passed in a joint session of Congress in 2014.
Since then, insurance companies have had to pay up to $100 million in back wages to their workers, as well as a fee to compensate for the lost wages and other medical expenses.
The National Insurance institute, which is the federal government’s body that monitors and enforces the Affordable Care Act, estimates that at least $15-billion worth of malpractice insurance will be lost in the first five years of the program.
The study, which analyzed data from insurance companies through July 1, 2016, also found that medical malplacement claims will cost insurers $14.9 billion.
And that figure includes the $15 for the federal excise tax, $14 billion for medical malarkey and other costs, and the $2.3-billion in fees that are paid to insurers by the states.
But the National Commission on Insurance and Insurance Premiums says it has no idea what those figures are.
The commission, which includes several members of the Congressional Budget Office, has no position on the settlement guarantees.
The institute did not respond to a request for comment.
The new data comes as the White House is preparing to announce the first annual insurance premium increases since the Affordable Act went into effect in 2014 and 2015.
President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off insurance payments to states that do not expand Medicaid, and he has suggested that the United States could take action against states that don’t comply with the law.
The administration’s first estimate of premiums is expected to be released Thursday.
The Congressional Budget office released its own analysis in January that estimated that about 7 million Americans will lose coverage by the end of 2019, about the same as last year.
The CBO also projected that about 4 million people would lose coverage next year, which would be an increase of more than 10 million people over the year.
The health law also established a $10 billion payment for people who have suffered a heart attack or stroke and who were unable to get a new insurance plan.
The law also provided a subsidy for low-income people who are eligible for Medicaid but do not have coverage.