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Evergreen Health loses injunction bid in ACA risk adjustment lawsuit

A U.S.District Court rejected EvergreenHealth Cooperative Inc.'s bid to postpone payment of its $24.2 millionobligation to the Affordable Care Act's risk adjustment program.

JudgeGeorge Russell III denied the motion for a preliminary injunction in Evergreen'slawsuit against the federalgovernment, according to a July 21 court filing, citing reasons stated during ahearing held the same day. A record of that hearing is sealed.

The Marylandconsumer operated and oriented plan soughtthe injunction after the federal government levied the charge as part of its annualrisk adjustment results, which are aimed at redistributing money among state healthexchange participants based on the perceived riskiness of their customers.

Evergreenhas argued that the program's formula is flawed and biased against small and high-growthinsurers and petitioned for permission to withhold the funds beyond the program'sAug. 15 payment deadline.

The U.S.argued in one of its responses to the injunction request that Evergreen failed todemonstrate any legitimate need for the "extraordinary, untimely request"and warned that the injunction could disrupt the broader Maryland insurance market.

Evergreenis appealing Russell's ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit,according to a court filing signed by the co-op's attorney, Covington and BurlingLLP lawyer Caroline Brown.