Archive for July 7th, 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Advisory: The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision: What Employers, Insurers and TPAs Need To Do

Alston & Bird LLP

In its long-awaited Hobby Lobby decision (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.), issued on June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court held 5–4 that the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) preventive care mandates regarding contraceptive coverage issued under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) when applied to closely held, for-profit corporations that hold sincere religious beliefs against such coverage. This decision has generated headline news and considerable commentary, including whether it will have broader implications. This advisory focuses on the practical implications of the decision for group health plans, employers, insurers and third-party administrators (TPAs).


Monday, July 7th, 2014


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates plan sponsors to offer  minimal essential benefits  to include hospital care, physician services and prescription drugs. Failure to comply can trigger government sanctions.

The Medicare program  mandates only hospital care. Physician care benefits  and prescription care benefits  are optional.  Failure to purchase the optional benefits do not trigger any punishment at all.