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Women's Preventive Care Mandate Continues to Draw Challenges

Another lawsuit has been filed by a private employer challenging the health care reform mandate regarding coverage of women's preventive care.The Washington Post is reporting that Hobby Lobby stores has filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma City seeking relief from the mandate on the grounds that it unconstitutionally interferes with the company's deeply held religious beliefs (or at least those of its owner). The company specifically objects to the requirement that its health plan cover the "morning-after pill" and other similar drugs or devices that can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, which the company views as tantamount to abortion.

According to the article, Hobby Lobby maintains a calendar year, non-grandfathered, self-insured health plan covering more than 13,000 eligible employees nationwide. This means that, absent relief from the court, the company will be required to offer the full range of women's preventive care services under its plan by January 1, 2013, or it will face a penalty of as much as $1.3 million per day ($100 per participant) for each day the plan fails to comply.

Our discussion of a similar lawsuit filed in Colorado is here. A general description of the women's-preventive-care mandate is here. Other coverage on the mandate is here.


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