Federal court says contraceptive coverage mandate preempts state law seeking to undercut it

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

As previously reported, last year in a move to oppose the federal mandate on contraception coverage in health insurance policies, the Missouri legislature enacted SB 749 that requires insurance companies to offer and issue policies that exclude coverage for contraceptives where coverage is contrary to the moral, ethical or religious beliefs or tenets of the person or entity seeking insurance.  Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the bill, but the legislature overrode the veto. Now, in Missouri Insurance Coalition v. Huff, (ED MO, Dec. 21, 2012), a Missouri federal district court has issued a temporary restraining order barring the Department of Insurance from enforcing these provisions of SB 749, finding that under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause the provisions are preempted by the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate. Insurance News Net reports on the decision.