Saturday, July 18, 2015

Court Allows Enforcement of New Contraceptive Coverage Accommodation Rules For Closely Held Companies

In Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. v. Burwell, (D DC, July 15, 2015), the federal district court for the District of Columbia issued an order consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision barring the federal government from enforcing the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage requirement as it existed in June 2014 against a for-profit Bible publishing company to the extent that the company has religious objections to providing coverage. However the order permits the government to enforce its newly adopted accommodation for closely held companies which allows an opt-out on religious grounds with contraceptive coverage then being furnished directly by the insurance company. The court's order though adds that nothing prevents plaintiffs from filing a new civil action challenging the accommodation rules. In a press release, Alliance Defending Freedom describes the court's order as a "victory" for the Bible publisher.