July 10, 2020

SCOTUS Expands Exemption for Contraceptive Coverage

On July 8th, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) upheld expanded exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage mandate (Mandate).

In a 78 page opinion, SCOTUS details history of the litigation surrounding the Mandate. In a nutshell, SCOTUS stated that though the ACA’s Mandate has existed for nine years, there is no explicit language in the ACA requiring contraceptive coverage. Furthermore, the statute does not define “preventive care and screenings, nor does it include a…list of such services.”

The ACA requires covered employers to provide women with “preventive care and screenings” without cost sharing requirements.  It’s up to agency departments to decide what such coverage includes and excludes. Exempting certain employers and businesses on religious and moral grounds falls within agency discretion.

SCOTUS reversed the Third Circuit’s decision, ordering the injunction dissolved. We await further action from lower courts; this decision means more employers may be eligible for an exemption from the Mandate. To read ComplianceDashboard’s earlier blog on the contraceptive mandate rules, click here:  Final Rules Regarding Religion and Moral Exemptions for Contraceptive Coverage

 

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