WASHINGTON — Employers that intend to drop coverage for some or all forms of contraception in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision must notify employees of the change, the Obama administration said Thursday (July 17).

The Obama administration, through the U.S. Department of Labor, has announced that employers who intend to drop coverage for some or all forms of contraception in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision must notify employees of the change.

The Obama administration, through the U.S. Department of Labor, has announced that employers who intend to drop coverage for some or all forms of contraception in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision must notify employees of the change. Public domain image

The notice was posted on the Department of Labor website as a new “frequently asked question” about the Affordable Care Act, the health care law passed in 2010 and still being implemented.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that closely held corporations whose owners have religious objections to offering certain types of birth control in their health plans must be allowed to opt out of the government’s contraception requirement. The case was brought by Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties.

The timing of the notice came after the Senate failed Wednesday to pass Democratic legislation that would have reversed the high court’s ruling. Faced with Republican opposition, the measure failed to get the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle.

Under the health care law, most corporations are required to provide 20 forms of birth control to female workers without cost-sharing. Churches and other religious organizations are excluded. Religious non-profit groups are allowed to sign a form indicating their objection, triggering a process in which employees still will get the coverage — but that accommodation is being contested in court.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling, which came on the last day of its term, more companies are likely to drop coverage of some or all contraceptives. The Labor Department notice is intended to warn employees.

“For plans that reduce or eliminate coverage of contraceptive services after having provided such coverage, expedited disclosure requirements for material reductions in covered services or benefits apply,” the department said.

(RIchard Wolf writes for USA Today)

KRE END WOLF

5 Comments

  1. Like I said before…being offended by the idea that you cannot force your christian employers to fund a program to support your abortist choices is just wierd.

    No one is saying you can’t abort. You still have that freedom to choose to end the development of your fetus growth. You just cannot force funds from a privately held asset (the business) to be dispursed for your personal choice to do so.

    • Like I said, calling corporations Christians is just weird and remarkably reductive of religious belief. Evidently being a Christian means almost nothing if you can just assign it to a pile of state government filings. So much for “closely held beliefs”.

      “You just cannot force funds from a privately held asset (the business) to be dispursed for your personal choice to do so.”

      You don’t understand how insurance works. What a surprise.

      It is a government regulated business that is supposed to protect the privacy of its insured from the inquiries and direct control of those outside of its policies. An employer is not supposed to have any input as to what kind of medical treatment is available to employees beyond paying for set plans which meet government set minimum requirements

    • You sadly do not understand what makes up a compensation package for work done. It has nothing to do with religion. It has all to do with work performed and the compensation earned for that labor.

      This is no different than the reality of the slave quality of our minimum wage that Republicans, the party of the wealthy, refuse to consider raising, just as they refuse to consider properly increasing the tax rate on the thieving wealthy.

  2. What good is any law when anyone is allowed to ignore it by forcing others to live according to the religious beliefs of those who wish to exempt themselves from the law on religious grounds? If they do not wish to follow the conditions of the law because it offends their religious beliefs, fine, but no one, private business owners or anyone else, has a right according to the First Amendment to our Constitution to force anyone else to live by their religious dictates. The only exemption would be if those religious dictates happen to be the same as laws properly legislated by Congress, signed by a President, and not properly countermanded by a Supreme Court.

    The Green family owners of Hobby Lobby, and others like them, are only seeking exemption that allows them to reduce the compensation package to their workers because reduced compensation for work done will increase the bottom-line of profits and wealth for the Greens. It is no different than the minimum slave wages they and other Republican legislators refuse to increase. It is no different than the Republican Party’s refusal to increase the tax rate on the super wealthy who became wealthy by ripping off real workers in this country from the very start. Slavery has not ended!

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