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All Eyes on the Supreme Court: More than Birth Control at Stake

On March 25th, the Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by for-profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage rule on religious grounds. These two corporations are Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores owned by a Christian family and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer, owned by a Mennonite family. Beyond the impact on the ACA and contraceptive coverage, the Court’s decision may have implications for religious rights of employers and employees, as well as corporate and civil rights laws. This brief examines three fundamental questions raised by some of the 84 amicus briefs that have been submitted to the Court.

Potential Supreme Court Decision: Who Will Bear the Coverage “Burdens?”

The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision by the end of June, 2014 on the cases brought forth by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, two for profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement. The plaintiffs contend that the requirement that they include coverage for certain contraceptive services (emergency contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices) in the insurance plans “substantially burdens” both the corporation’s and the owners’ religious rights. During the arguments, several of the justices discussed the extent to which the corporations did or not did not have a choice in offering coverage to their workers. In this brief, we explore some of the factors influencing coverage decisions and possible consequences for women and employers given possible Supreme Court decision options: either upholding the contraceptive coverage requirement, or in favor of Hobby Lobby.

Issue Brief Explores Consequences of Potential Supreme Court Decisions on the ACA Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

A new Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief explores some of the factors influencing employers’ coverage decisions and possible consequences for employers and workers that could arise from possible Supreme Court decisions in the cases brought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, for-profit corporations challenging the Affordable Care Act’s requirement…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: June 2014

As many employers begin to expand their wellness programs under new guidelines set forth by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds workers oppose programs that make them pay higher premiums if they fail to participate or meet specific health goals. Overall public opinion of the ACA remains about the same as it has for the last several months, with a somewhat higher share of the public continuing to express an unfavorable view of the law (45%) than a favorable one (39%).

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.

In Employer Health Insurance Costs, Stability Is the New Normal

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman looks at the sharply slower growth in premiums for employer health benefits and what it might mean for the future of employer-sponsored coverage.