- The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday paused a March ruling by a Texas judge that overturned the Affordable Care Act’s preventative services mandate requiring health plans to cover certain care services like cancer, HIV and diabetes screenings for more than 150 million Americans.
- The temporary administrative stay, which now legally requires health plans to follow the ACA mandate, applies while the Department of Justice’s appeal to the case is considered by the appellate court.
- The March ruling tossing the ACA mandate prompted backlash from industry lobbies and trade groups, with the American Hospital Association and other groups stating in an amicus brief filed this month that the “importance of the preventive health care services covered by the ACA cannot be overstated.”
Judge Reed O’Connor, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, ruled in the original case that the expert panel that recommended care covered by the preventive mandate violated the Constitution because its members were not appointed by the president or confirmed by the Senate.
O’Connor also ruled last September that the preventive care mandate requiring insurers to cover PrEP drugs to prevent HIV infections violated the religious freedoms of a Christian-owned company.
Private insurers and payer groups emphasized that they would still provide free coverage for preventative services following the March ruling.
“As we review the decision and its potential impact with regard to the preventive services recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, we want to be clear: Americans should have peace of mind there will be no immediate disruption in care or coverage,” Matt Eyles, president and CEO of health insurance lobby AHIP, said in a statement in March.