With new federal ruling, will employers eliminate coverage for preventive services?

If a new ruling against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is upheld, employers will have the choice to increase costs for some preventive services. The case, Braidwood v. Becerra, was overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor and calls for the government to immediately stop enforcing Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules that require health plans cover and waive cost-sharing for high-value preventive services, including screenings for cancer, diabetes, HIV, and mental health.

The consensus among experts is that it will take at least another year to see whether the courts will uphold the ruling. In the meantime, employers and other health care stakeholders are watching carefully for potential impacts. Paul Fronstin, director of health benefits research at the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington, D.C. suggests “I just don’t see employers backing off [paying for preventive care coverage] even if they are allowed to…Most employers recognize the value of covering high-value services…”  Time will tell whether employers agree.

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