What do Birth Control Coverage, Hobby Lobby and The Supreme Court have in common?
On Monday, June 30th, 2014 the Supreme Court made a decision that would allow firms to decide what types of contraceptive coverage to offer their employees. This decision was made in response to a company called Hobby Lobby, who didn’t think it was fair that the Affordable Health Care act “forced” them to offer contraceptives to their employees. Basically, they said that because their religious beliefs didn’t allow for certain types of contraceptives, they should be allowed a choice as to whether or not to offer them. The decision was a close one, with the Supreme Court coming to agreement with Hobby Lobby in a 5-4 split.
You can read more about the decision in this article from Los Angeles Times.
So, what does this mean for you?
To an employee, it means:
You may not be able to acquire certain contraceptives through your employee-sponsored health insurance. This is only true if your employer is purchasing the plan directly (privately) through a health insurance company, as opposed to through The Exchange. If your employer is purchasing a plan through The Exchange, then all FDA-approved contraceptives will be available to you.
What do these contraceptives include? Most notably, Plan B (the morning after pill), and certain types of IUD’s.
To a business owner, it means:
If you are purchasing your insurance privately through a health insurance company, you now have the choice as to whether or not you will offer these forms of contraceptives to your employees.
But! Some states mandate that all types of contraceptives that are FDA approved be available for employees, if prescription drugs are offered through their plans. These laws overrule the Supreme Court decision. California is not one of those states. If you’d like to see where different states fall in this decision, click here.
Now that you have the full scope of what is covered in reproductive health care… We thought you might want more information on the other coverages included in your health plan.
These are ten benefits that must be covered under all health plans that are available in the Marketplace. These essential benefits guarantee that any plan you choose will cover you, at least partially, for all of these services.
If you are looking for an Individual or Family Plan, the Open Enrollment Period for 2014 Marketplace Insurance is closed for this year. Enrollment will begin again on November 15, 2014. However, there are still some cases in which you can enroll outside of the open enrollment period. The link above describes those cases.
Small business can begin offering coverage to their employees at any time. There is no limited enrollment period. Also, if your small business has fewer than 25 employees, you are likely to be eligible for a tax credit. The link above offers more information about these options.