Supreme Court: Some Companies Don't Need to Cover Birth Control

Victory for two family-owned firms that said ACA requirement violated their religious beliefs

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Family-owned companies don't have to comply with a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires them to offer insurance coverage for contraception if that requirement violates their religious principles, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The five to four decision was in response to lawsuits filed by two companies -- Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. -- that argued that the Affordable Care Act's birth control provision ran counter to their religious views. Nearly 50 other businesses had joined the lawsuit, the AP reported.

The Supreme Court emphasized that Monday's ruling only applies to companies under the control of just a few people where there's no real difference between the business and its owners -- basically, family-owned companies, the news service said.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion. He said the decision is confined to contraceptives under the health care law, the AP reported. "Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer's religious beliefs," he said.

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