What Does The Hobby Lobby Ruling Mean For Consumers?


(Nicholas Eckhart) (Nicholas Eckhart)

This morning, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on one of the most-watched cases of the season, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The issue was employer-provided healthcare, and what companies are required to provide under the Affordable Care Act. But the broader issues brought up by the ruling have implications beyond one craft store’s benefits package.

The Court ruled 5-4 in favor of craft chain Hobby Lobby and cabinet-maker Conestoga Wood Specialties, finding that certain kinds of companies can claim religious objection to providing employees contraceptive health care as part of their benefits package.

Specifically, the Court ruled that closely-held corporations cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees (other treatments that occasionally meet with religious objections, like vaccines and blood transfusions, were specifically left out of the narrow ruling). A closely-held company is, basically, one that is not publicly traded, but instead has…

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