Contraceptive coverage is a required part of all new insurance plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), but many employers' are exempt from this requirement. Other employers have challenged the contraceptive requirement on religious grounds. In East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held as follows: (1) the plaintiffs are either automatically exempt from the contraceptive-coverage mandate or eligible for accommodation upon application; (2) the challenged provisions do not violate rights to religious freedom under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA); (3) RFRA applies only to the acts of the persons claiming protection under it; and (4) RFRA does not allow religious employers to block third parties from providing contraceptive coverage for their employees. This decision fills in the gap left by the United States Supreme Court after Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and provides an illustration of the complexity of the American healthcare system, even post-ACA.
Norman, M. Catherine
"Contraceptive Coverage Falls, No More: Using RFRA to Limit the Scope of Religious Challenges to the ACA's Contraceptive Mandate,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 67:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol67/iss2/7