U.S. Supreme Court Makes Moves on Affordable Care Act Cases

By:  TIMOTHY C. HAUGHEE

DECEMBER 10, 2013

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” portion of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  Despite that landmark legal ruling, however, the White House continues to face other legal challenges to certain portions of the ACA.  Some of those challenges, which have been working their way through the court system since the enactment of the ACA, have finally reached the Supreme Court.

First, on November 26, 2013, the Supreme Court announced that it would agree to hear arguments on a case challenging the ACA’s requirement that employers of a certain size offer insurance coverage for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay from their employees.  The issue in that case is whether private companies, rather than public companies or religious institutions, can refuse to abide by the ACA’s requirement on religious liberty grounds.  The case will be argued in March, with a ruling expected to be announced in late June.  We will provide an update after the Supreme Court announces its decision.

Second, on December 1, 2013, the Supreme Court rejected a petition that challenged the constitutionality of the ACA’s “employer mandate,” which requires employers of a certain size to offer affordable minimum health insurance coverage to employees who work 30 hours or more per week or pay a substantial penalty.  A lower court previously upheld the employer mandate.  For more information on the requirements of the employer mandate, please find our recent post here.

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