Federal Court Ruling Affects Health Insurance Mandates

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Federal Court Ruling Affects Health Insurance Mandates
Federal Court Ruling Affects Health Insurance Mandates. Credit | REUTERS

United States: A federal appeals court in New Orleans decided on Friday that employers who have contested some federal health insurance mandates cannot be made to pay for preventive care services such as HIV testing and some types of cancer screenings.

Limited Scope of Ruling

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of urges ‘ decision is limited to the eight employers that had problems offering the coverage. The conservative court decided against implementing the decision broadly.

Implications for Preventive Care Coverage

Even though we were bracing for the worst, insurers will still be required to pay for preventative care, such as PrEP, unless the initial plaintiffs are exempt. The good news is that Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, mentioned a popular HIV preventive therapy in an email. Schmid lamented that the court determined that the HIV preventive coverage mandate was enacted against the Constitution and that the case would now be sent to a lower court to settle other matters that would complicate the coverage problem even more.

Concerns and Future Legal Challenges

 Under the affect of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, federal health officials established the regulations above. Protesters brought procedural and religious concerns to several of the requirements.

The decision does not necessarily endanger all preventive treatment; lawyers for both sides have stated that certain businesses may choose to implement copays or deductibles that would maintain the availability, if not the total cost, of the relevant coverages, including HIV preventatives.

Impact on Existing Regulations

According to an analysis done last year by the organization KFF, some screenings, such as mammography and cervical cancer screening, would still be covered without out-of-pocket expenses. This is because the task force recommended these tests before the healthcare law’s enactment in March 2010.

Continued Coverage for Some Screenings

The Public Health Service’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Health Resources and Services Administration made suggestions for coverage, but the ruling did not address them. One such problem is whether coverage may be mandated.

The court has determined that the requirement for USPSTF-recommended services is unconstitutional. As a result, Schmid stated, “The bad news is that the court is now asking the lower court to review both the HRSA and ACIP preventive services.”

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