Freedom from birth control coverage requirements

Qualifying small business employers can now customize their benefits and save money in the process.

Effective immediately, the Trump administration will allow religious groups, nonprofits, some small businesses and some other employers to opt out of an Obamacare requirement to provide birth-control coverage for their employees. Exempt employers include “religious employers”, houses of worship, health sharing ministries, a few employers who got religious exemptions, non-profit hospitals, some institutions of higher education. This is the first time since 2011 that employers were allowed this option. Two separate rules issued by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury finalized exemptions for employers that have religious or moral objections to contraceptive coverage. One HHS rule called the “Religious Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act” allows employers to claim “sincerely held” religious objects while a second HHS rule called the “Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act” offers another exemption on moral grounds.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 in the Hobby Lobby case that the Affordable Care Act couldn’t require employers to offer insurance coverage for certain birth control methods they equate with abortion. The court decision applied only to private corporations such as the family-owned companies  that challenged the law. Women working for those companies could still get morning-after pills and IUDs from other sources, such as the government or private insurance plans.

Freedom Benefits can help small business employers modify their employee health plans to exclude this expense and save money through insurance or a health reimbursement arrangement. Likewise, we can steer employees who need this coverage to alternate sources.