On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court sent seven related cases challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage mandate back to the lower courts to be reconsidered. In these cases, nonprofit religious employers challenged the self-certification requirement under the accommodations approach, arguing that it infringes upon their religious liberty. This ACA Compliance Bulletin provides an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision.
The topic has sparked major controversy at the federal level due to its influence on employers’ obligation to cover the cost of contraception, including emergency contraception, to employees. Deeply rooted religious and political views have led many protestors to join the conversation. Major corporations, like Hobby Lobby, have found themselves in the middle of the debate, even considering the possibility of closing their doors in response to the mandated changes to legislation
In this particular instance, non-profit religious organizations (not identified as churches or houses of worship) can qualify for an accommodation to the ACA’s contraception provision requirement.
“According to the challengers, the accommodations approach infringes upon religious liberty because the self-certification requirement (or HHS notification requirement) makes the organization complicit in the provision of birth control.”
Both parties agreed that there could be a resolution which would satisfy both sides of the argument, so the U.S. Supreme Court returned the cases to the lower courts for further research and consideration. Get the full story here.
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