Wednesday, November 01, 2017

New Contraceptive Coverage Rules Challenged As Notre Dame Plans To End Coverage

As previously reported, the Trump Administration has issued Interim Final Rules that expand religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate.  The Administration has also settled many of the lawsuits challenging the contraceptive coverage requirement.  Indiana Public Media reports that Notre Dame University last week informed students and employees that after the end of the current plan year, health insurance policies obtained through the University will no longer cover contraceptives for birth control. Apparently plans will still cover contraceptives where necessary to treat medical conditions.

Yesterday, three Notre Dame students, an employee of an Illinois university and an employee of a church filed suit in an Indiana federal district court challenging the new Interim Rules.  The complaint (full text) in Shiraef v. Hargan, (ND IN, filed 10/31/2017), contends:
3. Bypassing the legally-required notice and comment process, the Rules were promulgated to take effect immediately and nullify existing regulations that took over six years to implement and involved no less than six rounds of notice-and-comment rulemaking, including consideration of over 725,000 comments.
4. The Rules and their issuance violate the Administrative Procedure Act, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution including equal protection guarantees and the right to liberty, and the ACA.
Americans United issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.