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A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Review of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

This issue brief dissects the issues raised by the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that private insurance plans include contraception as part of their coverage of preventive services for women. Over 40 for-profit corporations and over 40 nonprofit corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that the requirement to provide their employees with contraceptives violates their religious rights. On November 26, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases filed by for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, that claim that this requirement violates their religious rights. At the crux of these cases is a question that the Supreme Court has not previously addressed: Do for-profit corporations have religious protections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment? The brief provides background on how the ACA’s contraceptive requirement works, summarizes some of the legal challenges brought by for-profit and non-profit organizations and discusses the implications of potential rulings by the Supreme Court.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: July 2014

The July Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that over half the public has an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in July, up eight percentage points since last month, while the share viewing the law favorably held steady at just under four in ten. This month’s poll also explored the public’s reaction to the Supreme Court decision upholding craft store chain Hobby Lobby’s ability to deny workers coverage of certain contraceptives based on the company’s owners’ religious beliefs. The public overall is evenly split between those who approve and disapprove of the Court’s decision, with only a small difference in opinion between women and men, but deep divisions by party identification, ideology, and religious affiliation.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: July 2014

The July Kaiser Health Policy News Index finds the most closely followed news stories this month were discussions about how to deal with large numbers of unaccompanied minors arriving in the U.S. from Central America, military and political conflict between Israel and Hamas, and ongoing problems related to Veterans Affairs (or V.A.) medical facilities. Six in ten report closely following the Supreme Court’s decision in a case about whether for-profit companies should be required to cover birth control for women in their workers’ health plans (the Hobby Lobby case), and about half of the public is able to correctly identify the Court’s decision.

Share of Americans With An Unfavorable View of the Affordable Care Act Rises in July; Majority Continues To Want Congress To Improve, Not Repeal, The Law

A Quarter Incorrectly Believes Newly Insured Under ACA Were Enrolled in a Single Government Plan Majority of the Public Believes the Hobby Lobby Decision Will Trigger New Efforts to Deny Health Coverage On Religious Grounds After remaining steady for several months, the share of Americans expressing an unfavorable view of…

2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey

This annual Employer Health Benefits Survey (EHBS) provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and other relevant information. The 2014 EHBS survey finds average family health premiums rose 3 percent in 2014, relatively modest growth by historical standards.

Report Examines Potential for Private Health Insurance Exchanges to Change Employer Market

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report examines private exchanges and how the approach could reshape employer-sponsored health insurance as it gains popularity. These private exchanges have gained currency as new health insurance marketplaces for individuals have begun operating under the Affordable Care Act, though the approaches are quite different. The…

How Workers and Employers Diverge on Wellness Programs 

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman examines employer attitudes and the evidence on wellness programs, and what the prospects for wellness programs are long term. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

Infographic: How Does Where You Work Affect Your Contraceptive Coverage?

The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that most private health insurance plans provide contraceptive coverage has been the focus of ongoing litigation in the federal courts. In response to recent Supreme Court actions in the Hobby Lobby and College of Wheaton cases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued…

Workers Wary of Wellness Programs that Tie Premiums to Participation and Outcomes

June Poll Finds No Change in Public’s Overall View of the Affordable Care Act Most in Military Households Say VA Problems Are Systemic and Care Not As Good As What Other Americans Receive  As many employers begin to expand their wellness programs under new guidelines set forth by the Affordable…

Visualizing Health Policy: Recent Trends in Employer-Sponsored Insurance

This Visualizing Health Policy takes a look at recent trends in employer-sponsored insurance, including average premium increases for workers with family coverage, the average yearly cost of premiums for single and family coverage and how those costs have increased in the past decade, along with the prevalence of health promotion…