The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to consider whether the health insurance plan for employes of the Newport News, Va., shipyards discriminates on the basis of sex.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission challenged the plan because it grants greater pregnancy coverage to female employes of the company than it does to the wives of male employes. The decision could have an impact on health insurance plans in industries throughout the country.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the different treatment discriminated against the male employes under federal job discrimination laws.

The shipyards, joined by other industry groups, asked the justices to review the ruling, saying the court and the EEOC had misinterpreted the law. The Chamber of Commerce of the United States told the court that the cost for a single company to comply with the ruling could run as high as $450,000.

Yesterday's case, Newport News Shipbuilding vs. EEOC, originated with a complaint by John McNulty, a shipyard worker. He said the plan limited to $500 the hospitalization coverage available for his wife's pregnancy while a pregnant employe of the shipyard received unlimited hospitalization coverage.

The court this term is reviewing another major sex discrimination case, from Arizona, that challenges annuity plans that allocate lesser benefits to women than to men.

In other action yesterday, the Supreme Court said it would consider the constitutionality of a Tennessee law setting a two-year limit for a mother to sue to establish the paternity of her child.

The case is Pickett vs. Brown. It stems from a paternity suit brought by a Memphis woman 10 years after the birth of her child. The Tennessee courts threw out the suit because of the two-year statute of limitations.

Frances Annette Pickett has asked the justices to rule that the time limit violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Insurance Bias Issue Accepted By Fred Barbash Washington Post Staff Writer

The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to consider whether the health insurance plan for employes of the Newport News, Va., shipyards discriminates on the basis of sex.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission challenged the plan because it grants greater pregnancy coverage to female employes of the company than it does to the wives of male employes. The decision could have an impact on health insurance plans in industries throughout the country.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the different treatment discriminated against the male employes under federal job discrimination laws.

The shipyards, joined by other industry groups, asked the justices to review the ruling, saying the court and the EEOC had misinterpreted the law. The Chamber of Commerce of the United States told the court that the cost for a single company to comply with the ruling could run as high as $450,000.

Yesterday's case, Newport News Shipbuilding vs. EEOC, originated with a complaint by John McNulty, a shipyard worker. He said the plan limited to $500 the hospitalization coverage available for his wife's pregnancy while a pregnant employe of the shipyard received unlimited hospitalization coverage.

The court this term is reviewing another major sex discrimination case, from Arizona, that challenges annuity plans that allocate lesser benefits to women than to men.

In other action yesterday, the Supreme Court said it would consider the constitutionality of a Tennessee law setting a two-year limit for a mother to sue to establish the paternity of her child.

The case is Pickett vs. Brown. It stems from a paternity suit brought by a Memphis woman 10 years after the birth of her child. The Tennessee courts threw out the suit because of the two-year statute of limitations.

Frances Annette Pickett has asked the justices to rule that the time limit violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.