Obama Administration Files Proposed Rules on ACA Preventative Services Coverage–Seeks Input on Logistics

The Obama Administration has filed an Interim Final Rule seeking input on the logistics of obtaining an accommodation and in defining eligible organizations with respect to coverage for preventative services under the ACA. The new interim final regulations establish another option for an eligible organization to avail itself of the accommodation. Under the IFR, an eligible organization may notify the Department of HHS in writing of its religious objection to contraception coverage. HHS will then notify the insurer for an insured health plan, or the Department of Labor will notify the TPA for a self-insured plan, that the organization objects to providing contraception coverage and that the insurer or TPA is responsible for providing enrollees in the health plan separate no-cost payments for contraceptive services for as long as they remain enrolled in the health plan. The interim final rule solicits comments but is effective on date of publication. The proposed rules also solicit comments on expanding the availability of the accommodation to include closely held for-profit entities that have a religious objection to providing coverage for contraceptive services. The proposed rules describe two alternative approaches for defining such an entity. Under one approach, the entity could not be publicly traded, and ownership of the entity would be limited to a certain number of owners. Under an alternative approach, the entity could not be publicly traded, and a minimum percentage of ownership would be concentrated among a certain number of owners. The proposed rules solicit public comment on an appropriate number and/or concentration as well as other possible approaches, and the documentation and disclosure of a closely held for-profit entity’s decision not to provide contraceptive coverage. A copy of the proposed rules can be found here.

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