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Title 45

Displaying title 45, up to date as of 9/23/2021. Title 45 was last amended 9/13/2021.

Title 45

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§ 147.212 Transparency in coverage - requirements for public disclosure.

(a) Scope and definitions -

(1) Scope. This section establishes price transparency requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers in the individual and group markets for the timely disclosure of information about costs related to covered items and services under a plan or health insurance coverage.

(2) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the definitions in § 147.210 apply.

(b) Requirements for public disclosure of in-network provider rates for covered items and services, out-of-network allowed amounts and billed charges for covered items and services, and negotiated rates and historical net prices for covered prescription drugs. A group health plan or health insurance issuer must make available on an internet website the information required under paragraph (b)(1) of this section in three machine-readable files, in accordance with the method and format requirements described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, and that are updated as required under paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(1) Required information. Machine-readable files required under this paragraph (b) that are made available to the public by a group health plan or health insurance issuer must include:

(i) An in-network rate machine-readable file that includes the required information under this paragraph (b)(1)(i) for all covered items and services, except for prescription drugs that are subject to a fee-for-service reimbursement arrangement, which must be reported in the prescription drug machine-readable file pursuant to paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section. The in-network rate machine-readable file must include:

(A) For each coverage option offered by a group health plan or health insurance issuer, the name and the 14-digit Health Insurance Oversight System (HIOS) identifier, or, if the 14-digit HIOS identifier is not available, the 5-digit HIOS identifier, or if no HIOS identifier is available, the Employer Identification Number (EIN);

(B) A billing code, which in the case of prescription drugs must be an NDC, and a plain language description for each billing code for each covered item or service under each coverage option offered by a plan or issuer; and

(C) All applicable rates, which may include one or more of the following: Negotiated rates, underlying fee schedule rates, or derived amounts. If a group health plan or health insurance issuer does not use negotiated rates for provider reimbursement, then the plan or issuer should disclose derived amounts to the extent these amounts are already calculated in the normal course of business. If the group health plan or health insurance issuer uses underlying fee schedule rates for calculating cost sharing, then the plan or issuer should include the underlying fee schedule rates in addition to the negotiated rate or derived amount. Applicable rates, including for both individual items and services and items and services in a bundled payment arrangement, must be:

(1) Reflected as dollar amounts, with respect to each covered item or service that is furnished by an in-network provider. If the negotiated rate is subject to change based upon participant, beneficiary, or enrollee-specific characteristics, these dollar amounts should be reflected as the base negotiated rate applicable to the item or service prior to adjustments for participant, beneficiary, or enrollee-specific characteristics;

(2) Associated with the National Provider Identifier (NPI), Tax Identification Number (TIN), and Place of Service Code for each in-network provider;

(3) Associated with the last date of the contract term or expiration date for each provider-specific applicable rate that applies to each covered item or service; and

(4) Indicated with a notation where a reimbursement arrangement other than a standard fee-for-service model (such as capitation or a bundled payment arrangement) applies.

(ii) An out-of-network allowed amount machine-readable file, including:

(A) For each coverage option offered by a group health plan or health insurance issuer, the name and the 14-digit HIOS identifier, or, if the 14-digit HIOS identifier is not available, the 5-digit HIOS identifier, or, if no HIOS identifier is available, the EIN;

(B) A billing code, which in the case of prescription drugs must be an NDC, and a plain language description for each billing code for each covered item or service under each coverage option offered by a plan or issuer; and

(C) Unique out-of-network allowed amounts and billed charges with respect to covered items or services furnished by out-of-network providers during the 90-day time period that begins 180 days prior to the publication date of the machine-readable file (except that a group health plan or health insurance issuer must omit such data in relation to a particular item or service and provider when compliance with this paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(C) would require the plan or issuer to report payment of out-of-network allowed amounts in connection with fewer than 20 different claims for payments under a single plan or coverage). Consistent with paragraph (c)(3) of this section, nothing in this paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(C) requires the disclosure of information that would violate any applicable health information privacy law. Each unique out-of-network allowed amount must be:

(1) Reflected as a dollar amount, with respect to each covered item or service that is furnished by an out-of-network provider; and

(2) Associated with the NPI, TIN, and Place of Service Code for each out-of-network provider.

(iii) A prescription drug machine-readable file, including:

(A) For each coverage option offered by a group health plan or health insurance issuer, the name and the 14-digit HIOS identifier, or, if the 14-digit HIOS identifier is not available, the 5-digit HIOS identifier, or, if no HIOS identifier is available, the EIN;

(B) The NDC, and the proprietary and nonproprietary name assigned to the NDC by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for each covered item or service that is a prescription drug under each coverage option offered by a plan or issuer;

(C) The negotiated rates which must be:

(1) Reflected as a dollar amount, with respect to each NDC that is furnished by an in-network provider, including an in-network pharmacy or other prescription drug dispenser;

(2) Associated with the NPI, TIN, and Place of Service Code for each in-network provider, including each in-network pharmacy or other prescription drug dispenser; and

(3) Associated with the last date of the contract term for each provider-specific negotiated rate that applies to each NDC; and

(D) Historical net prices that are:

(1) Reflected as a dollar amount, with respect to each NDC that is furnished by an in-network provider, including an in-network pharmacy or other prescription drug dispenser;

(2) Associated with the NPI, TIN, and Place of Service Code for each in-network provider, including each in-network pharmacy or other prescription drug dispenser; and

(3) Associated with the 90-day time period that begins 180 days prior to the publication date of the machine-readable file for each provider-specific historical net price that applies to each NDC (except that a group health plan or health insurance issuer must omit such data in relation to a particular NDC and provider when compliance with this paragraph (b)(1)(iii)(D) would require the plan or issuer to report payment of historical net prices calculated using fewer than 20 different claims for payment). Consistent with paragraph (b)(3) of this section, nothing in this paragraph (b)(1)(iii)(D) requires the disclosure of information that would violate any applicable health information privacy law.

(2) Required method and format for disclosing information to the public. The machine-readable files described in this paragraph (b) must be available in a form and manner as specified in guidance issued by the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The machine-readable files must be publicly available and accessible to any person free of charge and without conditions, such as establishment of a user account, password, or other credentials, or submission of personally identifiable information to access the file.

(3) Timing. A group health plan or health insurance issuer must update the machine-readable files and information required by this paragraph (b) monthly. The group health plan or health insurance issuer must clearly indicate the date that the files were most recently updated.

(4) Special rules to prevent unnecessary duplication -

(i) Special rule for insured group health plans. To the extent coverage under a group health plan consists of group health insurance coverage, the plan satisfies the requirements of this paragraph (b) if the plan requires the health insurance issuer offering the coverage to provide the information pursuant to a written agreement. Accordingly, if a health insurance issuer and a group health plan sponsor enter into a written agreement under which the issuer agrees to provide the information required under this paragraph (b) in compliance with this section, and the issuer fails to do so, then the issuer, but not the plan, violates the transparency disclosure requirements of this paragraph (b).

(ii) Other contractual arrangements. A group health plan or health insurance issuer may satisfy the requirements under this paragraph (b) by entering into a written agreement under which another party (such as a third-party administrator or health care claims clearinghouse) will provide the information required by this paragraph (b) in compliance with this section. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, if a group health plan or health insurance issuer chooses to enter into such an agreement and the party with which it contracts fails to provide the information in compliance with this paragraph (b), the plan or issuer violates the transparency disclosure requirements of this paragraph (b).

(iii) Aggregation permitted for out-of-network allowed amounts. Nothing in this section prohibits a group health plan or health insurance issuer from satisfying the disclosure requirement described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section by disclosing out-of-network allowed amounts made available by, or otherwise obtained from, an issuer, a service provider, or other party with which the plan or issuer has entered into a written agreement to provide the information, provided the minimum claim threshold described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(C) of this section is independently met for each item or service and for each plan or coverage included in an aggregated Allowed Amount File. Under such circumstances, health insurance issuers, service providers, or other parties with which the group health plan or issuer has contracted may aggregate out-of-network allowed amounts for more than one plan or insurance policy or contract. Additionally, nothing in this section prevents the Allowed Amount File from being hosted on a third-party website or prevents a plan administrator or issuer from contracting with a third party to post the file. However, if a plan or issuer chooses not to also host the file separately on its own website, it must provide a link on its own public website to the location where the file is made publicly available.

(c) Applicability.

(1) The provisions of this section apply for plan years (in the individual market, for policy years) beginning on or after January 1, 2022.

(2) As provided under § 147.140, this section does not apply to grandfathered health plans. This section also does not apply to health reimbursement arrangements or other account-based group health plans as defined in § 147.126(d)(6) or short term limited duration insurance as defined in § 144.103 of this subchapter.

(3) Nothing in this section alters or otherwise affects a group health plan's or health insurance issuer's duty to comply with requirements under other applicable state or Federal laws, including those governing the accessibility, privacy, or security of information required to be disclosed under this section, or those governing the ability of properly authorized representatives to access participant, or beneficiary information held by plans and issuers.

(4) A group health plan or health insurance issuer will not fail to comply with this section solely because it, acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence, makes an error or omission in a disclosure required under paragraph (b) of this section, provided that the plan or issuer corrects the information as soon as practicable.

(5) A group health plan or health insurance issuer will not fail to comply with this section solely because, despite acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence, its internet website is temporarily inaccessible, provided that the plan or issuer makes the information available as soon as practicable.

(6) To the extent compliance with this section requires a group health plan or health insurance issuer to obtain information from any other entity, the plan or issuer will not fail to comply with this section because it relied in good faith on information from the other entity, unless the plan or issuer knows, or reasonably should have known, that the information is incomplete or inaccurate.

(d) Severability. Any provision of this section held to be invalid or unenforceable by its terms, or as applied to any person or circumstance, or stayed pending further agency action, shall be severable from this section and shall not affect the remainder thereof or the application of the provision to persons not similarly situated or to dissimilar circumstances.

[85 FR 72305, Nov. 12, 2020]