Publish Date: July 27, 2023
Author: Seubert
Tags: Blog - SeubertU

Court Reinstates ACA’s Preventive Care Mandate

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay of enforcement of a lower court’s ruling in Braidwood Management Inc. v. Beccara. In Braidwood, the lower court vacated a key portion of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) preventive care coverage requirement.

The ACA requires most health plans and health insurance issuers to cover a set of preventive services without imposing cost-sharing requirements when the services are provided by in-network providers. Among these are evidence-based items or services that have, in effect, a rating of A or B in the current recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force(USPSTF).

In Braidwood, the lower court ruled that preventive care coverage requirements based on an A or B rating by the USPSTF on or after March 23, 2010, violate the U.S. Constitution. The court also ruled that the specific coverage requirement for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs used by individuals with a higher risk of getting HIV violates the Religious FreedomRestoration Act.

This ruling could impact health plan coverage for a variety of preventive care services, such as certain cancer screenings, medications to prevent heart disease and lower the risk of breast cancer, and HIV PrEP drugs.

It is uncertain whether the 5th Circuit will uphold or reverse the lower court’s ruling in Braidwood. However, the enforcement stay will remain in effect until the 5th Circuit issues its ruling. This means that, for now, non-grandfathered health plans and issuers should continue to cover, without cost sharing, the full range of preventive care services required by the ACA, including items or services that have an A or B recommendation by the USPSTF.

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