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Certain religious organizations may not have to provide contraceptives

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Religious employers – primarily churches and other non-profits – will no longer have to provide contraceptive coverage if they have religious objections under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if proposed amendments by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are implemented.

The department released the notice of proposed rulemaking filed Friday, seeking comment on the proposals by April 8. Under the proposed accommodations, the eligible organizations wouldn’t have to pay, contract or arrange for any contraceptive coverage if they object on religious grounds. But plan participants would receive contraceptive coverage through a separate individual health insurance policy without cost sharing or additional premiums, according to HHS.

The rules are available for viewing here.

The PPACA, enacted in March 2010, requires non-grandfathered group health plans and insurance issuers offering non-grandfathered group or individual health insurance coverage to provide certain preventative health services without imposing cost sharing, which includes preventive care and screening for women. Many religious organizations, such as schools and hospitals, objected to this provision and have filed lawsuits.

For-profit secular businesses have also challenged the requirement in court, but they would not be exempted from providing these areas of coverage under the mandate issued last week. The federal agencies involved in these rule changes say that the religious accommodations in related areas of federal law, such as the exemption for religious organizations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, are only available to nonprofit religious organizations.

A lawsuit filed by the University of Notre Dame last year challenging the requirement under the PPACA was dismissed in January in federal court.

On Jan. 30, however, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a private, secular company in southern Indiana does not have to provide its employees contraceptive and other coverage that conflict with the employer’s Catholic beliefs, pending the appeal in the lawsuit. The federal appellate court combined William D. Grote III, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, 13-1077, with a similar challenge out of Illinois.

Eligible organizations under this mandate will provide a self-certification to the health insurance issuer, or the organization would notify the third-party administrator in the case of self-insured group health plans, to work with a health insurance company to provide the separate coverage.

 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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