Feds bow to the inevitable, defer deadlines for key transparency requirements

Federal regulators, acknowledging the extreme difficulty or impossibility of health plan compliance with recent cost transparency laws and regulations by plan years beginning in 2022, have deferred enforcement deadlines for many of these requirements. One key deadline is deferred six months, another 12 months, and several others are deferred indefinitely, pending federal guidance that is not expected until next year at the earliest.

Other imminent compliance deadlines, however, for some of the (relatively) easier transparency requirements remain in place, although regulators note that guidance on those requirements is not imminent and that in the meantime, healthcare plans and insurers should comply by applying a good faith interpretation of the law.

Background

Since late last year, group healthcare plan sponsors and their insurers have been staring down the barrel of a variety of cost transparency requirements bearing compliance deadlines that are now just around the corner. Some requirements were imposed by Trump administration regulations, but many others were imposed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) passed by Congress late last year.

The deadline for the most challenging requirements was the first day of the 2022 plan year, with other requirements carrying compliance deadlines of a few days earlier on Dec. 27, 2021. We have previously detailed these myriad requirements in alerts, webcasts and in our 2021 Employer Playbook, the latter available from your Lockton account team.

Recognizing the complexity faced by plan sponsors and insurers, and the absence of federal implementation standards with respect to many of the requirements, regulators have pushed off the compliance deadlines for several of the most complex requirements. Download the full alert (opens a new window) to read more about the transparency requirements and their original effective and deferred enforcement dates.

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Not legal advice: Nothing in this alert should be construed as legal advice. Lockton may not be considered your legal counsel, and communications with Lockton's Compliance Services group are not privileged under the attorney-client privilege.

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Edward Fensholt

by  Edward Fensholt

Senior Vice President, Director, Compliance Services

+1 816 960 9775 (opens a new window)

efensholt@lockton.com (opens a new window)

For more info

Mark Holloway

Senior Vice President, Director, Compliance Services

mholloway@lockton.com (opens a new window)

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