A wave of new legislation, packed with rules and regulations for businesses like yours, is coming out of Washington. Few businesses are aware of it, let alone prepared for it. The rules are a blend of requirements around benefits and how you communicate with your employees, with the biggest element being requirements for price transparency.
And you have to comply by Jan. 1, 2022.
What Price Transparency in Benefits Means
According to the new rules, employers must provide employees with their benefits contract rates for procedures and care in a machine-readable format. In the future, as more of the legislation comes into effect, that transparency requirement will expand annually, requiring employers to disclose more and more information to the members on their health plan as well as the general public.
The challenge here is that your benefits plan is tied to an insurance network. You don’t set or manage the prices, but you are liable if you don’t disclose and communicate them. That makes you responsible for working closely with your benefits provider to get the right information and share it with the right parties.
If you have tried to get in-depth answers from a large insurance network in the past, you may already be bracing for a difficult experience. These providers are not known for their ease of access, for being proactive, or for responding in a timely manner. But you need answers from them to stay in compliance.
The Easier Path to Compliance
If you’re on the beach when a tsunami hits, you’re probably too late. The wave is too big, it’s moving too fast, and it’s already too close. If instead you get an early warning that a tsunami is likely, you can get to higher ground well ahead of landfall.
That might be a little dramatic, but that’s the scenario you are facing here. You can’t stop the regulations from coming, but if you act early, you can minimize a potential disaster into a minor inconvenience.
Here’s how: Talk to your advisor today and build a plan that you can gradually execute in the months leading up to Jan. 1, 2022. If your advisor is unable or unwilling to be that proactive, find a new advisor. Too much is at stake for this to be swept under the rug.
Beyond Transparency and Other Compliance Requirements
New rules for pricing transparency are only a piece of the changes that will impact your benefits plan. In the coming years, you also need to be aware of the following:
- Compensation disclosure requirements for vendors providing benefits services
- New rules for surprise billing
- Reporting requirements for new plan RX data
- Mental health parity compliance
- Section 125 plan relief
- Exchange open enrollment and premium tax credit expansion
- COBRA subsidies
And there’s more. For our part, we’ve been working with clients already to prepare them for these changes, and you’re welcome to view the recording of our in-house webinar to learn what they have learned.
Changes in rules, regulations, and compliance requirements are always a challenge for business leaders, but we’re here to help. You don’t have to navigate these waters alone, and you certainly don’t need to be caught by surprise in January. We’re available to talk through potential solutions at any time.