Proposed Bipartisan Health Care Bill Would Require Brokers to Disclose Fees and Incentives

Proposed Bipartisan Health Care Bill Would Require Brokers to Disclose Fees and Incentives

The Lower Health Care Costs Act, a bipartisan bill proposed by the Senate Health Committee, was introduced on May 23, 2019. This bill sets out to address surprise medical billing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs and the overall cost of delivering health care, and improve transparency. The proposed legislation also includes a provision that would require benefits brokers to disclose their fees and any incentives they may receive from insurers.

Potential Impact

This provision was included in the proposed legislation after a February 2019 investigation by ProPublica revealed that the insurance industry often offers undisclosed incentives to influence brokers’ plan choices.

Dave Chase, co-founder of broker certification group Health Rosetta, says that, “By requiring advisers to disclose all of their sources of compensation, we can level the playing field for employers who are trying to lower their health costs. Instead of regularly accepting 5% to 20% annual cost increases, they can be more selective to ensure their adviser is actually serving their best interests.”

This proposed legislation would create a new level of transparency between employers and their benefits brokers, as many employers aren’t aware of the inner workings of health plan agreements or renewals.

What’s next?

The Lower Health Care Costs Act is just proposed legislation at the moment, meaning that there are no compliance obligations to meet. However, Sen. Lamar Alexander, bill co-sponsor, hopes that the bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote by July of this year. To view the proposal, click here.

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