Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Church's Suit Challenging California Health Insurance Rules Dismissed As Not Ripe

In Skyline Wesleyan Church v. California Department of Managed Health Care, (SD CA, March 9, 2018), a California federal district court dismissed on ripeness and standing grounds a suit by a church challenging California insurance rules on the coverage of abortion services by health policies.  The church objected to providing its employees with policies that covered abortions.  Initially state regulators required all policies to contain such coverage, but subsequently said they would grant exemptions for policies offered exclusively to religious employers.  The court said in part:
At this point in time it cannot be said that the DMHC would deny a health care plan’s request to offer the exemption sought by Plaintiff because no such plan has been submitted. Thus, the existence of a controversy depends on a factual scenario that may or may not materialize, making this case unfit for review.