(1) Whether the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act pre-empts state laws that prevent carriers from seeking subrogation or reimbursement pursuant to their FEHBA contracts; and (2) whether FEHBA's express-pre-emption provision, 5 U.S.C. § 8902(m)(1), which expressly “preempt[s] any State or local law” that would prevent enforcement of “the terms of any contract” between the Office of Personnel Management and a carrier which “relate to the nature, provision, or extent of coverage or benefits (including payments with respect to benefits)[,]” violates the supremacy clause.
Decided April 18, 2017
Because contractual subrogation and reimbursement prescriptions plainly “relate to . . . payments with respect to benefits,” §8902(m)(1), they override state laws barring subrogation and reimbursement.
Chief Justice Roberts
GINSBURG, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which all other Members joined, except GORSUCH, J., who took no part in the consideration or decision of the case. THOMAS, J., filed a concurring opinion.
Text of Opinion
March 1, 2017
On Behalf of Petitioner
Coventry Health Care of Missouri, Inc., fka Group Healt
Miguel A. Estrada, Washington, D. C.
On Behalf of United States
as Amicus Curiae supporting Petitioner
Zachary D. Tripp, Assistant to the Solicitor General, De-partment of Justice, Washington, D. C.
On Behalf of Respondent
Matthew Wessler, Washington, D. C.
Brief for Petitioner (pdf download)
Brief for Respondent (pdf download)
Reply Brief for Petitioner (pdf download)
Amicus Curiae Briefs
Brief for America’s Health Insurance Plans and Association of Federal Health Organizations in Support of Petitioner (pdf download)
Brief for Constitutional and Administrative Law Scholars in Support of Respondent (pdf download)
Brief for Montana, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, (pdf download)
Brief for National Governors Association and Other State and Local Organizations in Support of Respondent (pdf download)
Brief for the American Association for Justice in Support of Respondent (pdf download)
Brief for The Chamber Of Commerce Of The United States Of America in Support of Petitioner (pdf download)
Brief for the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys in Support of Respondent (pdf download)
Brief for The United States As in Support of Petitioner (pdf download)
Supreme Court of Missouri
May 3, 2016