Trump administration extends comment period on insurer transparency rule

The Trump administration has given insurers more time to comment on a proposed rule to require individual and group plans to give consumers out-of-pocket cost information. 

The administration said it would extend the comment period on the rule, originally published Nov. 27, by 15 days through Jan. 29. The decision was made after blowback from the insurance industry and to take into account the holiday season. 

The proposed rule requires any non-grandfathered health insurance coverage on individual and group markets to make personalized out-of-pocket cost information for all covered items and services via an "internet-based self-service tool and in paper form upon request," the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in November. 

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Each non-grandfathered plan will have to also make public the in-network rates negotiated with providers and the historical payments to out-of-network providers. 

The proposed rule was published alongside a final rule that required hospitals to post payer-negotiated rates for certain "shoppable" healthcare services. The rule goes into effect in 2021. 

Insurers have fought back vehemently against both rules. The main industry group, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), said last month when the rules were released that they agree with greater transparency for consumers.

But transparency should encourage and not undermine "competitive negotiations to lower patients' and consumers' costs and premiums," AHIP CEO Matt Eyles said in a statement.