Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby

Supreme Court ruling on healthcare and morality

The Supreme Court ruled that “closely held” companies can, on religious grounds, opt out of a federal healthcare law requirement that companies provide contraception coverage for employees. A closely held company is one with 50% of its stock owned by five or fewer owners — a definition that applies to 90% of businesses in the U.S.

Hobby Lobby and other companies said their religions consider certain birth-control methods immoral, and therefore they weren’t obliged to help provide them under a 1993 statute, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Note that this only applies to a few emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B and Ella, and not all contraceptives or birth-control methods. Still, this ruling prompted swift and angry pushback from both sides of the debate. Does a company have the right to exercise its religious freedom? Do employees have the right to equal healthcare coverage regardless of their beliefs? This is a debate that will rage on for years in the courts, despite the ruling.

How does this ruling impact Indianapolis base health insurance contracts?

If you work for a large company, that company can, on the basis of religious grounds, carve out certain contraceptives from your healthcare plan, similar to how a religious hospital can refuse to perform certain procedures it believes are immoral.

If you work for a small company that has a fully insured health contract, you may not be impacted. Indianapolis-based insurance companies would have to design future plans that give employers the option to remove certain contraceptives. This type of plan design would have to be approved not only on the state level, but also on the federal level. If a lot of small-business owners feel this option is important to them, then we could see insurance companies provide this option.

If you are on an Individual health plan that is ACA compliant, then you will not be impacted.

Bottom line: be sure and know what your employer believes and whether that will impact your healthcare coverage going forward. It pays to be informed.

Nefouse & Associates can answer any questions you may have about this or any other aspect of your healthcare. Contact Nefouse & Associates, or call us at (800) 846-8615.

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