Minnetonka employer wants out of Obamacare's contraceptive mandate


A Catholic-owned medical device company is challenging a federal mandate of the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance companies to offer contraceptive coverage for female employees.

Minnetonka-based Annex Medical, Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming the mandate illegally and unconstitutionally forces the company to abandon the teachings of the Catholic church if it wants to offer group health insurance, FOX 9 reports.

The Pioneer Press said Annex and a Missouri company with similar objections presented their arguments in St. Paul Thursday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Erick Kaardal, an attorney representing Annex, told the Pioneer Press that the company isn't seeking to overturn Obamacare, but wants to find a way to offer health plans in compliance with all other aspects of the law.

The federal government previously issued regulations that exempt certain religious employers from the mandate, but they only apply to nonprofit groups.

The Star Tribune noted there was no clear indication on how the three-judge panel might rule.

Of 70 similar lawsuits filed by employers across the United States, appeals courts have weighed in on three -- two have sided with the government and one ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma City arts and crafts retailer, the Pioneer Press said.

The U.S. Supreme Court will likely take up the Hobby Lobby case before a decision is made in Annex's case, setting a precedent for other pending litigation.

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