U.S. Chamber drops health insurer price transparency lawsuit
Less than a week after the Biden administration delayed enforcement of controversial provisions of an insurer price transparency rule, a business group dropped its lawsuit seeking to block the rule.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce earlier this month sued HHS, CMS, the Labor Department, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint alleged that provisions in the so-called Transparency in Coverage Rule are unlawful and overly burdensome and urged a judge to throw them out.
Thursday’s court filing was brief, with U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle stating simply that the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice following a notice of voluntary dismissal from the plaintiffs, the Chamber and the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Biden administration announced in an Aug. 20 guidance document that it was delaying enforcement of key parts of the transparency rule by six months, giving insurers until July 1, 2022 to comply. A handful of federal agencies wrote in the joint guidance that they recognize the “considerable time and effort required” to make those files available in the manner required.
The delay applies to the requirement that insurers post machine-readable files containing their in-network rates negotiated with providers and their out-of-network rates.
The administration is delaying indefinitely a provision requiring insurers to post prescription drug rates in light of the new prescription drug reporting requirements Congress included in its year-end spending package.
In their lawsuit, the chambers had argued that the machine-readable requirement forces plans to disclose “vast” amounts of highly technical pricing data designed to be read by a computer. Whereas the Affordable Care Act, which the government cites as its authority to compel disclosure, says that information must be made in “plain language.”