Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The Court held that a closely held corporation does not have to provide contraceptives services under the ACA if the corporation’s owners have a sincere conviction that doing so would violate their religious beliefs.
In response to that decision, the government has proposed rules pursuant to which such corporations may elect not to provide such coverage. Instead, payments for contraceptive services provided to participants and beneficiaries in the corporation’s plan would be provided separately by an issuer (if the qualifying entity sponsors an insured group health plan, or if the qualifying entity is an institution of higher education that arranges student health insurance coverage) or arranged separately by a third party administrator in the same fashion as currently applies to non-profit religious organizations.
In its proposal, the government solicits feedback from interested stakeholders on:
- How it should define a for-profit, “closely held corporation” for purposes of applying the Hobby Lobby ruling.
- How such corporations should document their stance.
- The extent to which the process applicable to non-profit religious entities is (or is not) suitable for use in the context of close held, for-profit entities.
Comments are due by 5 PM on October 21, 2014. Instructions for filing comments may be found here.