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Supreme Court Upholds ACA Contraceptive Rule Exemptions

On July 8, 2020, the United States Supreme Court upheld two regulations expanding the federal exceptions of contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the ACA, any non-grandfathered health plan is required to cover certain women’s preventive health services entirely, with no cost sharing by the member, which includes all FDA-approved contraceptives. At that time when the original exclusion parameters went into effect, it was only applicable to churches, houses of worship, and other church-affiliated institutions.

In October of 2017, the Trump administration issued two interim final rules that expanded the exceptions to covering contraceptives. One exception applied to employers who do not agree to the coverage of contraception due to religious beliefs and the other exception applied to employers who did not want to cover contraceptives due to their moral convictions. These interim rules were challenged within the court system and, per the Supreme Court’s ruling, the expanded exception rules have been determined to be allowable as a health plan exclusion. Thus, the ruling allows plan sponsors to amend their plan to exclude contraception coverage based on sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions. Employers may want to review their current plan provisions to determine if they would like to make plan modifications and address the necessary plan amendments.

Read the Legal Update.

Contact your Cowden representative for more information on this or other compliance issues.