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Free Preventive Services at Risk in the Braidwood Decision

Published On September 14, 2023

One of the most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the requirement that most commercial health plans cover preventive services, including vaccinations and cancer screenings, without cost-sharing, such as deductibles or copays. On March 30, 2023, a federal judge in Texas declared that an earlier ruling he issued striking down much of the ACA’s preventive services mandate in the case Braidwood v. Becerra applied nationwide, threatening access to these critical services for more than 150 million people.

The judge ruled that it was unconstitutional for the vast majority of the country’s private health plans to be required by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to provide no-cost preventive services. Notably, the judge’s ruling did not extend to preventive services recommended for women, infants, and kids by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) or Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). 

United States of Care created the fact sheet below that outlines the role these three entities play in identifying preventive services to be covered without cost sharing. In addition, it includes a chart listing how access to cost-free preventive services are affected by the Braidwood decision.