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October 11, 2022

Texas Judge Rules Against ACA Preventive Care Provisions

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On September 7, 2022, a US district court judge for the Northern District of Texas issued a ruling that preventive care provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring private insurance plans to cover drugs that prevent HIV infection at no cost to patients violate religious rights.

The ACA requires that private insurers cover certain preventive health services, including STD screenings and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) prevention drugs. In his ruling, the judge found that that the rights of the employers that brought suit have been violated under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by the requirement that they sponsor health insurance that covers sexual health services such as PrEP drugs that help prevent the spread of HIV.

It is not yet clear whether enforcement will occur immediately and whether coverage requirements will be blocked for just those who brought suit, for everyone in Texas or nationwide. The US Department of Health and Human (HHS) is expected to appeal the ruling.

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