Friday, May 09, 2014

D.C. Circuit Hears Oral Arguments On Non-Profit Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Rules

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in Priests for Life v. Department of Health and Human Services and in Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius. (Audio of oral arguments [mp3 file]).  Both cases were brought by religious non-profits challenging the Obama administration's compromise rules that allow religious non-profits to opt out of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate and have their employees receive coverage directly from the non-profit's insurer or third-party administrator.  In Priests for Life, the district court found no substantial burden was imposed by requiring the group to complete the self-certification opt out form. (See prior posting.) In the Archbishop of Washington case, the district court upheld the challenge to the compromise as to one of the plaintiffs that offered a self-insured plan, but not for the others who offered group insurance or church plans. (See prior posting). Los Angeles Times reports on the oral arguments.