Real Alternatives Inc v. Secretary Department of Health

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 124 Stat. 119, requires employer-provided health insurance plans to cover various preventative services, including FDA-approved contraceptives, at no cost to participating employees. The “Contraceptive Mandate” includes a limited exemption for houses of worship and their integrated auxiliaries. Religious non-profit and for-profit employers may receive an accommodation whereby they opt out of providing contraceptive coverage, with the government then arranging for their employees to receive the coverage through third parties at no cost to, and with no participation of, the objecting employers. An anti-abortion group argued that, under the Equal Protection Clause, if a religious organization may be exempted from the Contraceptive Mandate, then non-religious entities with an identical stance on contraceptives must also be exempted. Employees of the group argued that the Contraceptive Mandate violated the Church Amendment, 42 U.S.C. 300a–7(d), and that maintaining a health insurance plan that covers contraceptives through their employer violates their religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb to 2000bb-4. The Third Circuit affirmed rejection of those claims. The Contraceptive Mandate does not exempt a secular anti-abortion group with no religious affiliation and an employee’s religious beliefs are not substantially burdened by the law’s requirement that his employer’s insurance plan cover contraceptives. View "Real Alternatives Inc v. Secretary Department of Health" on Justia Law