A federal judge in Texas overturned the requirement that health insurance must cover certain preventive services, including some cancer and diabetes screenings. The ruling involved a case in which the plaintiff, a Christian company, objected on religious grounds to providing free HIV prevention medicine to employees.
The Affordable Care Act mandates that preventive services be fully covered if they are recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce, a nongovernmental advisory board of experts. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled this to be unconstitutional because the advisers aren’t officers of the United States. Of note, preventive services recommended by federal agencies would likely still be covered.
As the judge’s ruling is appealed and the case moves toward the Supreme Court, KFF Health News notes that insurance coverage would likely not be affected in the immediate future because most policies cover services for a calendar year. In short: Don’t delay any of your screenings.