Geneva College v. Sec’y U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs., No. 13-3536 (3d Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Appellees in these consolidated appeals challenged under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) the requirement under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that contraceptive coverage be provided to their plan participants and beneficiaries. Appellees included a nonprofit institution of higher learning established by the Reformed Presbyterian Church and certain Catholic Dioceses and nonprofit organizations affiliated with the Catholic Church. Because they provided coverage to the Catholic nonprofits, the Dioceses, which were otherwise exempt, were required to comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement as to the nonprofits. The nonprofit appellees were eligible for an accommodation to the contraceptive coverage requirement, under which the contraceptive services will be independently provided by an insurance issuer or third-party administrator once the appellees advise that they will not pay for those services. Appellees argued that the accommodation places a substantial burden on their religious exercise because it forces them to facilitate the provision of insurance coverage for contraceptive services and has the impermissible effect of dividing the Catholic Church. The district courts granted Appellees’ motions for a preliminary injunction. The Third Circuit reversed, concluding that the accommodation places no substantial burden on Appellees, and therefore, Appellees did not show a likelihood of success on the merits of their RFRA claim.