Agency FAQs (Part 48) Signal Changes to Contraceptive Coverage Exemptions

The DOL, HHS, and IRS have issued a single FAQ saying future regulatory steering on the Reasonably priced Care Act (ACA) contraceptive protection mandate. As background, the ACA typically requires non-grandfathered group well being plans to supply protection with out cost-sharing for specified preventive well being providers—together with sure contraceptive providers— when delivered by in-network suppliers. Laws issued in 2018 expanded an current spiritual exemption from this mandate to incorporate exemptions for any particular person or nongovernmental entity that objects to offering protection of some or all contraceptives based mostly on sincerely held spiritual beliefs or ethical convictions (see our Checkpoint article). In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court docket upheld the expanded exemptions, rejecting arguments that the 2018 laws had been substantively and procedurally invalid (see our Checkpoint article). This FAQ advises that the companies are contemplating adjustments to the laws “in gentle of latest litigation” and intend to provoke rulemaking to amend the laws throughout the subsequent six months.

EBIA Remark: It seems that the U.S. Supreme Court docket has not put to relaxation the wrangling over these laws, which had been initially issued in 2013 (see our Checkpoint article). Impacted employers and advisors ought to search for the companies’ proposed adjustments in early 2022. For extra data, see EBIA’s Health Care Reform handbook at Part XII.C (“Protection of Preventive Well being Providers”). See additionally EBIA’s Group Health Plan Mandates handbook at Part XIV.E (“Contraceptive Protection: Exemptions and Lodging Primarily based on Spiritual Beliefs and Ethical Convictions”) and EBIA’s Self-Insured Health Plans handbook at Part XIII.C.1 (“Preventive Well being Providers”).

Contributing Editors: EBIA Workers.

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