Federal Appeals Court Rules Employers Can Deny No-Cost Preventive Care for HIV Prep, Cancer Screenings

By Madz Dizon

Jun 22, 2024 05:05 AM EDT

Federal Appeals Court Rules Employers Can Deny No-Cost Preventive Care for HIV Prep, Cancer Screenings
(not the actual photo)
(Photo : Adam Berry/Getty Images)

A federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled on Friday (June 21) that employers who contested certain federal health insurance requirements are not obligated to offer no-cost coverage for specific types of preventive care, such as HIV prep and certain cancer screenings.

Court's Ruling on HIV Coverage Limited to Eight Employers

The ruling from the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals has a limited scope, as it only applies to the eight employers who raised objections to providing the coverage. The court with a conservative leaning chose not to extend the ruling to the entire country.

Schmid expressed disappointment over the court's ruling that the coverage requirement for HIV prevention was implemented in violation of the Constitution. 

Additionally, the case will now be sent back to a lower court to address other unresolved matters, which may complicate the coverage issue further.

The requirements in question were implemented by federal health officials as part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, AP reported. 

Opponents voiced concerns regarding certain requirements, citing religious and procedural objections.

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Texas Judge Rules Preventive Care Requirements Unconstitutional

Last year, US District Judge Reed O'Connor in Texas ruled that the requirements were in violation of the Constitution. 

In its ruling on Friday, a three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit stated that the coverage requirements in question were deemed unconstitutional. 

According to ABC13, this decision was made because the requirements were established by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, whose members were not appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

According to experts, the recent ruling may not put all preventive care at risk. 

Attorneys from both sides have suggested that certain employers might choose to implement copays or deductibles to ensure that coverage for affected services, such as HIV preventatives, remains available, albeit not completely free.

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