Prior to the implementation of the HHS Contraceptive Mandate, which required health insurance plans to include coverage for all of the FDA-approved contraceptives at no cost to plan members, those in Missouri covered by group health plans could opt out of having such coverage in their health insurance plans.
When the Department of Health and Human Services issued the mandate that all insurance plans include such coverage, however, that mandate superseded Missouri law, leaving those with objections to having such coverage in their plans with no where to turn.
Rep. Paul Weiland (R-Imperial) decided to challenge the mandate in an effort to retain his right to opt out. U.S. District Judge Jean Hamilton in St. Louis dismissed his lawsuit last fall. Last week the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on his appeal. Rep. Weiland sees having coverage for the offending drugs in his health plan as morally offensive, and he seeks the ability to opt out without incurring any financial penalty or having to forego insurance coverage altogether. Stay tuned for more.
Posted: September 19, 2014