Trump's contraceptive opt-out sees first challenges
- At least two stakeholders have filed lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Friday announcement that any organization can now opt out of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.
- Both the Massachusetts attorney general and the the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have done so, according to various media reports. The ACLU is filing the lawsuit on behalf of its members and those of the Service Employee International Union-United Health Care Workers West (SEIU-UHW).
- The organization's lawsuit argues that the interim rules violate the Constitution by entitling and supporting religiously motivated measures and other forms of discrimination against women.
A Willis Towers Watson survey found that many employers plan to keep popular benefits, such as contraceptives, even if the ACA were reformed or repealed. Survey results showed that employers were six times more likely to keep their current level of coverage (59%) than reduce them (11%).
Forbes also reports that benefits experts don't think the Trump's administration opt-out rule will adversely affect many workers. A Mercer study conducted before the ACA took effect showed that almost 90% of employers polled offered contraceptive coverage. Therefore, the experts don't expect that employers (especially large ones) will reverse course now.
The move comes after the administration failed to advance its healthcare reform agenda in Congress; it also was announced at the start of open enrollment, when benefits selection is in the spotlight.