On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit approved the parties’ stipulated agreement to stay enforcement of the district court decision in Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra until the appeal is resolved (with a limited exception for the named plaintiffs).  As readers will recall from our prior blog, in Braidwood, a district court had enjoined enforcement of the preventive services mandate for “A” or “B” items and services recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (“USPSTF”) on or after March 23, 2010.  If the district court decision stands, non-grandfathered health plans would not have to cover those particular preventive services without cost-sharing.

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an administrative stay of enforcement of the district court decision in Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra.  Readers of our earlier blog (found here) will remember that in Braidwood, the district court enjoined enforcement of the preventive services mandate for “A” or “B” items and services recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (“USPSTF”) on or after March 23, 2010.  If the district court decision stands, this means that non-grandfathered plans would not have to cover these services without cost-sharing.  However, as a result of the Fifth Circuit stay issued on May 15, non-grandfathered health plans will continue to be subject to the mandate for these services for the time being.  All other preventive care requirements for health plans remain in place.

The Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) recently released guidance for group health plans on required preventive services coverage.  The guidance was issued in response to a federal district court decision in a case called Braidwood Management, Inc. v. Becerra that enjoined enforcement of the preventive services mandate for items and services with an “A” or “B” rating from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (“USPSTF”) on or after March 23, 2010. The Departments issued this guidance to clarify the current scope of the preventive services mandate in light of the court’s decision.