The recent Braidwood v. Becerra case has brought attention to the crucial role of preventive care in the overall health and well-being of individuals of all ages has been brought to the forefront. With healthcare costs running high, many turn to preventive care as a cost-effective approach to maintain their long-term health. Preventive care encompasses a wide range of measures, including regular checkups, screenings, and vaccinations, which aim to prevent the onset of severe health issues. It enables individuals to identify potential health problems at an earlier stage when they are more manageable and less costly.
Under the ACA, individual, small-group, large-group, and self-funded group health plans are required to cover, without cost-sharing, the following preventive health services:
- Services given an “A” or “B” rating by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)Vaccinations recommended by the ACIP
- Services for infants, children, and adolescents published under HRSA guidelines
- Services for women identified in guidelines published by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
The HRSA also compels insurance carriers to cover FDA-approved contraceptives and certain abortifacients. In addition, in 2019, the USPSTF classified pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs used by persons at high risk for HIV with an “A” rating.
Braidwood Management Inc is a Christian for-profit corporation that provides management services on a contract or fee basis. They have a self-funded health plan and wanted to exclude contraceptives and PrEP drugs on religious grounds. They also wanted to implement copayments for prevention services.
The Braidwood decision prevents the Departments from implementing and enforcing PHS Act section 2713(a)(1) ’s coverage requirements for items and services recommended with an “A” or “B” rating by the USPSTF on or after March 23, 2010. However, the Departments strongly encourage plans and issuers to continue to cover such items and services without cost sharing.
In particular, the Braidwood v. Becerra case has highlighted the need for preventive care for women. The court’s landmark ruling mandates employers to provide insurance coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that some employers may object to on religious grounds. This ruling ensures that women can access the vital preventive care they need to safeguard their health and well-being. The Braidwood v. Becerra case underscores the importance of preventive care for all individuals, regardless of age or gender. By adopting a proactive approach to healthcare, individuals can not only reduce their healthcare expenses but also enhance their overall quality of life. Whether through regular checkups, screenings, or vaccinations, preventive care is essential to maintaining good health, and its significance cannot be overstated.