HHS sued over insurance price transparency rule

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an affiliate are suing HHS to block the enforcement of a regulation that aims to increase insurance plan price transparency, according to court documents.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce allege that HHS exceeded its authority by adopting provisions that they claim will reduce competition, raise costs to consumers and cost millions to implement.

"Provisions of the rule threaten to reduce competition, and ultimately raise costs to consumers, by revealing confidential, commercially sensitive information that competitors currently do not share with each other," the complaint alleges.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs add that they are not challenging all aspects of the price transparency rule but rather "specific provisions of the rule that are not consumer-focused and that are in fact counterproductive, wasteful and unlawful."

The "Transparency in Coverage" rule is set to take effect Jan. 1. It requires insurers and plans to disclose to the public negotiated prices, disclose historical net plan allowable amounts for all covered items and services, and create online consumer tools to help patients decipher cost-sharing responsibilities.

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