Deadline Approaches for Employers to Post Machine-Readable Files on a Public Website

The July 1st deadline is quickly approaching for non-grandfathered group health plans and issuers to publicly disclose, in accordance with the Transparency in Coverage Final Rules, price information in machine-readable files for the plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2022.   The two machine-readable files must show (1) in-network negotiated provider rates for covered items and services and (2) out-of-network allowed amounts and billed charges for covered items and services.

Group health plans and issuers are required to post the machine-readable files on a publicly available website that is accessible to any person free of charge and without conditions (i.e., free of any requirements to establish a user account, password, or other credentials).  The files must be updated on a monthly basis.

Issuers and group health plans may either host the machine-readable files on their own website or include a link on their own website to a third-party website that is hosting the files.  For example, if the machine-readable files are hosted on a website by an issuer or third-party administrator, a group health plan will satisfy the public disclosure requirement by including a link to the insurer’s or third-party’s website on the plan sponsor’s (e.g., employer’s) public website or on a public website that is branded for the group health plan.  The link may be posted on any existing webpage on an employer’s website, such as a webpage for securities filings or job postings, as long as the webpage clearly identifies the link to the group health plan’s machine-readable files and is accessible to the public without conditions.

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About Author: Kendra L. Roberson

Kendra Roberson utilizes nearly two decades of experience to design and implement health and welfare plans, retirement plans, executive compensation agreements and equity compensation plans. Kendra has deep knowledge of health and welfare plan compliance issues and provides creative solutions to implementing increasing regulations affecting those plans. Kendra has represented public companies, tax-exempt organizations universities and governments in these areas. She has experience representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. View all posts by

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