Patient looking and form with doctor If implemented in a meaningful way, these new rules will help consumers not only make better health care decisions, but achieve improved health outcomes, as well. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Rising health care costs are consistently a top concern for employers, and the COVID-19 pandemic only made things worse. In 2022, experts predict the medical cost trend will be 6.5%. While this is a decrease from the 7.0% medical cost trend predicted for 2021, it's still the second-highest trend in the past six years. This can be attributed to a few things, including the continued fight against COVID-19, patients seeking care they deferred during the pandemic, and the stark increase in behavioral health conditions.

On January 1, 2022, parts of the new federal transparency rules, Transparency in Coverage and the No Surprises Act, will go into effect, mandating employer plan sponsors and health plans to provide crucial pricing information that could empower consumers to make better-informed decisions about their care.

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