Obamacare faces new challenges, although not insurmountable ones, as it will have to adapt contraception coverage. After the Hobby Lobby case determined important changes in how the Affordable Care Act obliges employers to cover the contraception costs for female employees, another case reflecting religious opposition on the matter will lead to further policy adaptation.
Religious non-profits declining to offer contraceptives through insurance coverage can opt-out by filling a Form 700. But the final decision of the Supreme Court regarding the Wheaton College case is about to change that. The Illinois based Wheaton College is an evangelical institution which legally complained against the procedure. The reason was that by filling a form, they acknowledge a system contravening their religious principles, even if third-parties would manage the affair.
Recently, after the Hobby Lobby case, the State of New York decided to solve the matter at state level. After noticing that three out of five pregnancies are unplanned, the state administration decide to cover post-birth contraception costs.
The government will adapt contraception coverage within a month
The Supreme Court agreed with Wheaton College and concluded that the religious non-profits do not have to fill the required form. Instead, they will have to simply inform the administration about their religious views. According to the Washington Post, the three female court judges harshly criticized the decision. Judge Sonia Sotomayor is discontent with the Court’s decision. “After expressly relying on the availability of the religious-nonprofit accommodation to hold that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates RFRA as applied to closely held for-profit corporations, the court now . . . retreats from that position,”, she stated on Thursday.
Now, the Obama administration has to find another way to make sure that employees have access to contraceptives while taking into consideration the Supreme Court’s latest decision. The Hobby Lobby case leaves marks in the Affordable Care Act. “The administration believes the accommodation is legally sound but in light of the Supreme Court order regarding Wheaton College, the Departments intend to augment their regulations to provide an alternative way for objecting non-profit religious organizations to provide notification, while ensuring that enrollees in plans of such organizations receive separate coverage of contraceptive services without cost sharing,” a White House official stated, The Hill notes. The administration decided to take action, even if the Wheaton Case injunction does not determine the Supreme Court to oblige the government to take a certain action. No further details were stated on how exactly the administration will adapt contraception coverage in the light of the court’s decision.