True transparency can be achieved, but it needs to start with a specific definition that has a measurable standard applied to it. Photo: Getty Images

Over the last several years, the word “transparency” has become the new it word in the benefits industry. Unfortunately, many employers have allowed payers, PBMs and TPAs to define this word for them and, as such, it’s become a meaningless term, much like “all natural” or “organic” in the food industry. 

True transparency can be achieved, but it needs to start with a specific definition that has a measurable standard applied to it. In light of the DOL’s recent hardline  stance on the subject of plan sponsor obligations under ERISA (GAP Stores and others have recently been sued in breach of fiduciary lawsuits), I believe that the new safe haven transparency standard for plan sponsors must be “fiduciary-level transparency.” 

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