Healthcare Providers

Supreme Court to decide whether church-affiliated hospitals can underfund pensions

Supreme Court to decide whether church-affiliated hospitals can underfund pensions

The Supreme Court will decide whether some of the nation's largest healthcare providers can rely on their church affiliations to avoid complying with federal laws covering pension benefits for workers.

The justices agreed Friday to take up cases involving three nonprofit hospital systems being sued for underfunding their employee pension plans.

Lower courts ruled against the hospitals — Dignity Health, Advocate Health Care Network and Saint Peter's Healthcare System — saying their pensions do not qualify as “church plans” that are exempt from the law. That could force them and other hospitals to spend billions to make up funding shortfalls.

The...

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