- In a 6-2 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that states can’t compel healthcare payers to hand over detailed information about medical claims and plan members, The New York Times reported.
- The case, Gobeille vs. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, stemmed from the self-insured health plan’s refusal to relinquish its data to Vermont officials.
- Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented in the decision.
Vermont is one of at least 18 states whose laws and regulations governing reporting, disclosure and recordkeeping conflict with federal requirements for employer health plan reporting.
Writing for the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that a mishmash of state regulations would burden plans with extra administrative costs and expose them to wide-ranging liability.
“Preemption is necessary to prevent the States from imposing novel, inconsistent, and burdensome reporting requirements on plans,” the opinion says.
Justice Stephen Breyer concurred, saying that allowing each state to impose its own set of regulations would result in “unnecessary, duplicative, and conflicting reporting requirements, any of which can mean increased confusion and increased cost.”
Ginsburg and Sotomayor disagreed. While the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was designed to ensure employer plans offer appropriate coverage, Vermont’s aim in gathering data was to enhance the quality of care and rein in costs, they said.