Recent HHS, Labor and Treasury Departments Guidance on ACA Birth Control Coverage

photo of package of birth control pillsRecently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Labor (DoL), and Department of the Treasury jointly issued guidance clarifying “protections for birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Pub. L. 111-148).”  Announcing the guidance, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stated “under the ACA, you have the right to free birth control – no matter what state you live in,” and Labor Secretary Martin Walsh remarked “today’s guidance makes clear that the law requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide contraceptive coverage – including emergency contraception – at no cost to participants.”  The guidance is written as a series of FAQs on coverage of preventive services “to help people understand the law and promote compliance.”  Coverage of preventive services is specifically referenced in ACA Section 2713 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 300gg-13) and implementing regulations (ie, 26 C.F.R. 54.9815-2713, 29 C.F.R. 2590.715-2713, and 45 C.F.R. 147.130).  Beyond the HHS website, the new joint guidance is also available as Health Part 54 on the DoL Resource Center FAQs page.