Employee Benefits

Federal Court Blocks ACA Section 1557 Non-Discrimination Rules

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on December 31, 2016, temporarily blocking enforcement of part of the Section 1557 nondiscrimination rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


The court’s injunction specifically bans the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing the Section 1557 provisions prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or termination of pregnancy. For employers offering a fully insured health plan through an insurance carrier, chances are the plan was previously amended to cover services under the ruling. The change had a fairly minimal impact on premiums. Employers sponsoring a self-funded health plan may have the option to update plans with respect to the recently announced injunction.




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