U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against the Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Mandate

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that closely held for-profit corporations with sincere religious objections to certain types of contraceptives cannot be required to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate. Under the ACA, employers with non-grandfathered health plans are required to provide cost-free coverage for certain preventive care for women, including all FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Three family-owned corporations objected to providing health coverage for certain types of contraceptives, based on their owners’ religious beliefs.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court held that the contraceptive mandate is unlawful for the closely held corporations because it substantially burdens their exercise of religion. The Supreme Court’s ruling creates a narrow exception to the ACA’s contraceptive mandate for closely held businesses that object to providing coverage for certain types of contraceptives based on their sincere religious beliefs. For all other for-profit employers, the ACA’s contraceptive coverage mandate will continue to apply.

Author: Julie Bartl, President of JKJ Benefits, Inc.

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