Though the overall law still stands, companies can object on religious grounds in order to gain exemption.
The U.S. Supreme Court has recently released a new health insurance ruling that states that companies are permitted to submit an objection on religious grounds to a health care reform provision that would require them to provide birth control coverage within their group plans.
The court held this decision on a vote of 5 to 4 that companies could seek this type of exemption.
This ruling was carefully made to reflect that while the health insurance regulations would continue to state that companies, overall, would still need to cover birth control, it is now possible for an exemption to be sought out by businesses in specific religious circumstances. Should a company gain the exemption, it will mean that the employees that it hires will need to obtain certain types of birth control from somewhere else.
The health insurance ruling applies only to certain types of birth control and is specific to that coverage.
Justice Samuel Alito explained that the health care reform ruling is specific to the birth control mandate. Companies will not necessarily be able to use it to argue for exemption with regards to other types of insurance plan requirements under the law, such as blood transfusions or vaccinations.
Alito also said that the majority opinion suggested that workers would still be capable of obtaining coverage for birth control through one of the mandate’s accommodations, which has already been implemented by the Obama administration for nonprofits with religious affiliations. This accommodation makes it possible for health insurance companies to be able to offer an individual on a group policy the coverage without the involvement of the employer.
Within this accommodation, the nonprofits that are eligible are required to provide a “self certification.” This document is a type of authorization that gives insurers permission to provide that coverage. At the moment, there is a separate legal challenge for that accommodation, but as it stands at the moment, it remains an options for employees who would still like to have their birth control covered by their health insurance.