January 28, 2015 — A federal judge on Tuesday, citing a Supreme Court ruling issued last year, has approved requests by three Colorado companies to exclude coverage for sterilization and contraceptives in their employee health plans, the AP/KUSA reports (AP/KUSA, 1/27).
In the Supreme Court case, which involved arts-and-craft retail chain Hobby Lobby and cabinet maker Conestoga Wood Specialties, the justices ruled that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees if the corporations' owners have religious objections to contraception (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/30/14).
The companies' owners object on religious grounds to rules implemented under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) that require most for-profit, private businesses to offer contraceptive coverage in their employer-sponsored health plans (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/17/14).
New Ruling Details
The new ruling involves Continuum Health Management, Continuum Health Partnerships and Mountain States Health Properties. According to the AP/KUSA, Continuum operates assisted and independent living facilities and skilled nursing care centers in Colorado.
The AP/KUSA reports that the federal government agreed to the court order (AP/KUSA, 1/27).