Federal appeals court rules against Notre Dame

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit denied Notre Dame's request for an injunction that would prevent the government from enforcing compliance with the Affordable Care Act.

Notre Dame has a self-insured plan for its employees, which is administered by Meritain Health. Students have the option of getting health insurance through a contract the university has with Aetna.

There are 4600 employees and 6400 dependents on the Meritain plan. There are about 2600 students and 100 dependents with Aetna, according to court records.

The university filed an EBSA Form 700 asking for an exception to the contraception provision and obtained a statutory accommodation.

The accommodation shifts the burden of paying for contraception to the insurance companies, who would then be reimbursed by the federal government.

Notre Dame filed a lawsuit challenging the accommodation saying it still violated the beliefs the university is based upon by ultimately providing contraception.

The university wanted an injunction to release the insurance companies from their legal obligation to provide contraceptive coverage.

Judges Posner and Hamilton ruled the university had not met the burden of establishing the need for the injunction.

Judge Hamilton added that an injunction would cut off contraceptive coverage for hundreds or thousands of women.

Judge Flaum dissented saying the injunction should be granted because the university is self-insured, Meritain is just a third party administrator.

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