Health Plans Must Provide Price Comparison Tool for 2023
December 9, 2022
Beginning in 2023, group health plans and health insurance issuers must make an internet-based price comparison tool available to participants, beneficiaries and enrollees. The purpose of this tool is to provide consumers with real-time estimates of their cost-sharing liability from different providers for covered items and services, including prescription drugs, so they can shop and compare prices before receiving care. Upon request, plans and issuers also must provide this information in paper form or over the telephone.
For plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, plans and issuers must make price comparison information available for 500 shoppable items, services and drugs. For plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2024, price comparison information must be available for all covered items, services and drugs.
Most employers will rely on their issuers or third-party administrators (TPAs) to develop and maintain the price comparison tool and provide related disclosures on paper or over the phone upon request.
Fully Insured Plans
Employers with fully insured health plans should confirm that their issuer will comply with the price comparison tool requirements beginning with 2023 plan years and ensure this compliance responsibility is reflected in a written agreement.
Employers with self-funded plans should reach out to their TPAs (or other service providers) to confirm they will be in compliance by the deadline and update agreements to reflect this responsibility. In addition, employers should monitor their TPAs’ compliance with this requirement. Unlike fully insured plans, the legal responsibility for this tool stays with a self-funded plan even if its TPA agrees to provide the price comparison tool on its behalf.
More information, including the list of 500 items and services, is available through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The above information does not constitute advice. Always contact your employee benefits broker or trusted adviser for insurance-related questions.