Idaho introduced a number of bills in recent legislative terms aimed at promoting price transparency and controlling healthcare costs. While most failed to pass, in 2018, the legislature passed the Idaho Free Market Insurance Act (SB 1288), which allows individuals to lower their health insurance costs by making available competitive health plans from out-of-state insurance companies. The state also passed SB 339, which amends the Pharmacy Practice Act to enable lower cost substitution for prescription drugs that are in the same therapeutic class. In the 2016 legislative term, Idaho proposed but did not pass healthcare transparency legislation that would have required health insurers on the state’s ACA exchange to disclose a range of specific information.
The state currently has a ban on most-favored nation clauses. A most-favored nations clause is an agreement between a payer (such as an insurance company) and a provider that typically requires a provider to give the payer the lowest rate that it gives to any other comparable payer, which can be anticompetitive as it encourages oligopolistic pricing by large payers and increases barriers for new entrants.
Idaho has also been active in antitrust enforcement, as the Idaho Attorney General joined with the FTC to challenge the acquisition of Idaho’s largest independent, multi-specialty physician group by St. Luke’s Health System. In that case, the Ninth Circuit held that the acquisition violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act and the Idaho Competition Act.
2020 Legislative Session: 1/13/2020 - 3/27/2020 (2020 term). *Current session bill updates are ongoing. Check back weekly for updates.