A federal government decision to freeze risk adjustment payments under the health care law is threatening more than $70 million in funding for Minnesota health insurers and raising questions about the potential impact on premiums next year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Saturday it’ll hold the financial transfers, which shift money from some insurers in certain markets to carriers that cover more people with expensive health conditions.

The agency attributes the hold to a February court decision invalidating the use of the statewide average premium in the risk adjustment transfer formula established under the health care law.

Health policy experts say the agency could’ve responded to the ruling without freezing transfers. Insurers also say the move could result in higher rates for consumers.