The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that for-profit family-owned businesses can opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate as part of their health insurance benefits if it goes against their religious beliefs. According to The New York Times, this ruling opens up the possibility that more companies may challenge the ACA. In addition, the newspaper reported judge Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote the government could even offer contraceptive coverage through other means.
The Wall Street Journal reported the Supreme Court’s decision came down to a 5-4 vote in which its five conservative judges voted in favor to allow private companies to not provide contraception in their health benefits coverage for employees. The two companies involved in the case were Hobby Lobby, a crafts chain that is owned by a religious family, and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a cabinetmaker owned by Mennonites in Pennsylvania, the Journal reported.
The judges noted that the government should extend an existing accommodation to these companies that mandates insurers offer contraceptives to employees without asking workers to pay copayments or charging companies premiums.