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Contraception and Preventive Health Services Rules for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Sorting Out the Changes and New Requirements


May 15, 2018
Recorded Online

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires many employer-sponsored health plans to cover preventive health services, including contraception, with no cost-sharing for in-network services. Some employers objected to the contraception requirement and the federal government revised the rules several times, most recently in October of 2017, expanding the grounds upon which employers may rely to avoid complying with the contraceptive requirement. The changes have left some employers confused as to what is required and what options they have if they find the contraceptive requirement objectionable. To add to the confusion, many states have adopted requirements related to health plan coverage of contraception. In addition, over time there have been adjustments to the many other requirements under the preventive health services rules, generally increasing the number and types of services that must be covered without cost-sharing.

Join Christine Williams, founder of Health Plan Plain Talk, as she reviews the current status of the contraceptive coverage requirements, the options available to employers that object to the requirements, the interaction between the ACA rules and state rules, and guidance on other recent changes to the preventive health service rules and the no cost-sharing requirement.


Just a sampling of what will be covered:

  • Circumstances under which an employer that sponsors a health plan may refuse to offer contraception services
  • What constitutes religious or moral objections
  • The optional accommodation process and notice requirements
  • State laws relating to contraception services and their interaction with the ACA requirements
  • Recent additions to the list of other preventive health services required to be provided without cost-sharing
  • Cost-sharing rules for in-network and out-of-network provision of preventive health services
  • Cost-sharing rules when preventive health services and other services are provided at the same time
  • Application of reasonable medical management activity to preventive health services
  • How to address preventive health services in the health plan documents



Your conference leader for “Contraception and Preventive Health Services Rules for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Sorting Out the Changes and New Requirements” is Christine Williams. Ms. Williams is the founder of Health Plan Plain Talk and has worked in the employee benefits field since 1987, both in private practice and as in-house counsel to a Fortune 100 company. She has extensive experience with all types of health and welfare plans, and was the editor and a contributing author of HIPAA Portability, Privacy, & Security, published by Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA), a division of ThomsonReuters, and is still a contributor to that publication. She was also a contributing author of Health Care Reform for Employers and Advisors, also published by EBIA. She has provided advice on HIPAA, health care reform, ERISA, and compliance to a wide range of benefit plans, employers that sponsor benefit plans, and business associates. She regularly teaches seminars for employee benefit professionals. Before moving into employee benefits Ms. Williams was an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. She earned her law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

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