WASHINGTON, D.C. – Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), issued this statement following the release by the Department of Health & Human Services of a final rule requiring the disclosure of privately negotiated rates between health insurance providers and drug makers, providers and device makers:
Every American should have the personalized health care information they need, when they need it to make better, more informed decisions before they seek and receive care. That is why at least three-quarters of commercial health insurance providers already offer price transparency tools to the more than 120 million people they serve, according to AHIP research.
We are disappointed that the final rule will work to reduce competition and push health care prices higher – not lower – for American families, patients, and taxpayers. This is precisely the opposite of what Americans want in their health care. Americans are clear they want more affordability in health care, not less – 75% of Americans have said they would not support such federal regulations if they would raise the cost of premiums.
We are committed to making health care more affordable for every American, but the approach in the rule is flawed. As consumers’ bargaining power, health insurance providers work hard to negotiate lower prices, which result in lower premiums and costs. But competition experts, including the bipartisan Federal Trade Commission, agree that disclosing privately negotiated rates will reduce incentives to offer lower rates, creating a floor – not a ceiling – for the prices that drug makers, providers, and device makers would be willing to accept.
Health insurance providers strive every day for workable, consumer-friendly transparency that ensures health care information is personalized, easy-to-understand, accurate, and actionable, focusing on care for which Americans can actually shop. But requiring health insurance providers to publicly release all in-network negotiated rates, information on out-of-network payments and prescription drug negotiated prices in machine-readable formats will fail to deliver what Americans want – lower costs and high quality health care. Let’s work together to empower Americans to make more informed health care decisions without undermining affordability.
AHIP is the national association whose members provide coverage for health care and related services to hundreds of millions of Americans every day. Through these offerings, we improve and protect the health and financial security of consumers, families, businesses, communities and the nation. We are committed to market-based solutions and public-private partnerships that improve affordability, value, access, and well-being for consumers. Visit www.ahip.org for more information.