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.
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.
On January 14, 2019, a district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted a nationwide preliminary injunction halting the application of final regulations governing religious and moral-based exemptions from the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) mandate to cover contraceptives without cost sharing. The final regulations would have dramatically expanded the scope of existing exemptions and…
In a surprising turn of events, on Friday, December 14th, a district court judge in the Northern District of Texas declared that the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) individual mandate is unconstitutional and that, a result, the entire ACA is invalid. Although the ACA remains in effect for the time being and an immediate appeal to the 5th Circuit is a near certainty, the decision, if upheld, could be expected to have a significant impact on health care delivery. Following a high-level summary of the litigation, we highlight the major implications this ruling could have on employers and plan sponsors.
After months of failed attempts to pass any health care reform legislation, it appears efforts to pass a bipartisan bill to improve the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are picking up steam. Below is a summary of regent health care reform developments.
After health care reform efforts failed in late-Spring/early-Summer, things have been quiet. However, Congress returned to DC this week. Although legislative focus now appears to be on general tax reform, we expect some health care reform legislation (whether stand-alone or as part of tax reform) during the new session. Recent developments are provided below.
Below are key health care reform developments from the week of May 22nd.
- CBO/JCT Estimate for AHCA Released. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released an updated cost estimate for the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”). The latest estimate considered the AHCA as passed by the House
On October 23, 2015, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury (the “Agencies”) jointly released their twenty-ninth (XXIX) set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. This latest set of FAQs generally (1) clarify that certain services performed ancillary to various preventive services must also be covered without imposition of cost-sharing, (2) explain that in-kind incentives provided through wellness programs are also subject to limitations under HIPAA and (3) state that medical necessity guidelines related to mental health and substance abuse benefits must be provided to participants upon request.