Appeals Court Upholds Free Preventive Services under the ACA 

By Consumers for Quality Care, on July 10, 2024

Appeals Court Upholds Free Preventive Services under the ACA 

The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently reversed a lower court decision that would have struck down an ACA mandate requiring health insurers to cover free, preventive health care services for consumers, according to Axios.  

In 2020, two companies sued the federal government citing religious objections to providing preventive medicines for HIV care. The defendants argued that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which is tasked with recommending what preventive services should be covered under the ACA, lacked constitutional authority because its members were not confirmed by the Senate.  

In the Spring of 2023, the District Court for the Northern District of Texas agreed with plaintiffs, issuing an injunction blocking the federal government from enforcing the mandate. This district-court ruling jeopardized access to preventive health care services nationwide for consumers with employer-sponsored health plans and plans offered on ACA marketplaces.  

Thankfully, the recent ruling by the Fifth Circuit blocks the district court’s decision to strike down the ACA’s preventive-services mandate. According to a May 2023 study by Peterson-KFF, up to 10 million consumers would face higher out-of-pocket expenses if the mandate were overturned. 

CQC spoke out against the original District Court ruling back in 2023 and applauds the Court of Appeals for protecting consumers’ access to affordable preventive health care.