Grandfathered Group Health Plans (March 27, 2019)

Health Care

The Church Alliance submitted a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) on March 27, 2019 in response to a Request for Information published on February 25, 2019 regarding grandfathered group health plans and grandfathered health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  The Church Alliance had previously commented on grandfathered health plans on June 16, 2010 and August 10, 2010.  The comment letter urged that the polity (or the level of control by a church plan sponsor over employers in a plan) be considered by HHS or the Department of the Treasury in reviewing the grandfathered status of a plan.  The letter stated that while views on contraceptive services differ among Church Alliance members, the Church Alliance supports religious liberty.  It then pointed out that some church health plans are grandfathered because of religious beliefs on contraceptive services, coupled with the uncertainty for church-related employers under the ACA about the requirements to provide those services.