KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hobby Lobby Won’t Offer Contraception Coverage, Defying Health Law And Rulings; States Face Implementation Battles

Hobby Lobby has said it faces penalties of $1.3 million per day.

Los Angeles Times: Hobby Lobby To Defy Law On Contraception Coverage
After losing a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court, craft stores chain Hobby Lobby said it would defy a federal health care mandate requiring employers to provide their workers with insurance that covers emergency contraceptives. ... The Oklahoma City-based chain, which is owned by a conservative Christian family also with holdings in the religious bookseller Mardel Inc., had applied to the Supreme Court to block a part of the federal healthcare law ordering companies to offer insurance that covers contraceptive drugs including the morning-after pill (Li, 1/1).

CQ HealthBeat: Hobby Lobby Owners Say They Will Defy HHS Over Birth Control Rule
[T]here was no word by late Wednesday afternoon on whether the federal government might take any enforcement action against the company. The owners of the 514-store Hobby Lobby chain -- the biggest company that has filed suit challenging the rule -- have said in court filings that they face penalties of $1.3 million a day under the health care law if they don't comply as of Jan. 1 (Norman, 1/2).

A health law rule released last week also stipulates that large employers offer unsubsidized coverage to employees' dependent children --

Modern Healthcare: Rule Would Require Big Employers To Offer Unsubsidized Dependent Coverage
Those employers that are required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to offer qualified health insurance coverage or pay a penalty are also required to offer unsubsidized health insurance coverage to their employees' dependent children, under a proposed rule unveiled late Dec. 28. The National Business Group on Health argues that the law does not concern dependents and for that reason there should be no dependent requirements in the rule, said Steve Wojcik, vice president of public policy for the employers group (Barr, 1/2).

Politico, in the meantime, looks at states' health law implementation battles -- 

Politico: 5 States To Watch On The Implementation Of ACA
Though governors may have come out strongly one way or another on implementation, most of them will have to face their first legislative sessions since the Supreme Court upheld the ACA. And even if states aren’t expanding Medicaid or setting up their own exchanges, they’ll have to confront possible changes to state laws to align with ACA requirements — or risk having the feds step in to regulate their insurance markets like never before. Here are five of the more interesting states to watch on ACA implementation in 2013: [Florida, Idaho, Arizona, Arkansas, Maine] (Millman, 1/3).

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