Following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (and the overturning of Roe v. Wade), the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) issued new guidance in the form of FAQs on the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) preventive services mandate and contraceptive coverage requirements.
As background, under these requirements (as set forth in Section 2713 of the Public Health Service (“PHS”) Act and Health Resources and Services Administration guidelines), non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance issuers offering non-grandfathered group or individual health insurance must cover, without the imposition of any cost-sharing requirements, various forms of approved contraceptive care and methods.
Per the Departments, this new guidance was issued to:
- respond to reports that individuals are continuing to experience difficulty in accessing contraceptive coverage without cost sharing;
- clarify the application of the contraceptive coverage requirements to fertility awareness-based methods and emergency contraceptives; and
- address federal preemption of state law. While the guidance did not provide much “new” information, it reminds covered plans of these rules and their application (irrespective of Dobbs and the current debate of reproductive rights), and it signals the possibility of increased enforcement efforts by the Biden administration in response to Dobbs.
Employer Next Steps
This blog and its contents are not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.