Kantor & Kantor Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Supporting Women’s Right to Obtain Contraception Under Their Healthcare Plans

On April 8, 2020 Kantor & Kantor Partner Elizabeth Hopkins and Karen L. Handorf of Cohen Milstein, filed a friend-of-the court brief in the Supreme Court for Phyllis Borzi and Dan Maguire, two former, high-ranking Department of Labor officials.

The brief supports a number of States that successfully challenged a newly-enacted federal regulation, which runs contrary to the requirement in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that women in healthcare plans be provided free access to preventive health services.

Under the challenged regulation, virtually any employer may simply disregard the ACA requirement that healthcare plans provide cost-free contraception for women enrolled in such plans, and thereby prevent enrolled women from receiving this congressionally-mandated preventive health service.

The government and private petitioners attempt to justify this extraordinarily broad exemption based on a misconstruction of an Obama-era regulation, which allowed employers claiming a religious objection to opt out of arranging or paying for such coverage, while ensuring that women in such plans would still have access to free contraception paid for by the insurance company or administrative services company for the plan.

The brief argues that the Obama-era regulation struck the correct balance between the religious objections of employers and the interests of women enrolled in employment-based healthcare plans to obtain contraception as prescribed by their doctors, while the new regulation simply disregards the interests of the enrolled women and the requirements of the ACA.  The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear argument in the case on April 29, 2020, and should decide the case by summer.

Please see the full brief here:  Borzini Maguire Brief

 

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