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In a recent ruling from the Hobby Lobby case, The Supreme Court has ruled that ‘for-profit’ businesses can now evoke the religious rights disclaimer regarding contraceptive coverage. This means that non-religious business can now forgo the previous ACA mandates requiring contraceptive (no co-pay) coverage for women, an exception previously afforded only to religious based business with objection to this mandate for religious reasons. According to a recent article in Medscape.com, “The Court ruled 5-4 that closely held corporations, or companies with a small group of shareholders, may refuse to cover methods of contraception that they oppose for religious reasons.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision, with current president, stating:
“This decision inappropriately allows employers to interfere in women’s health care decisions. All health care decisions – including decisions about contraception – should be made by a woman and her doctor, based on the patient’s needs and her current health. Her employer’s religious beliefs should not overrule her doctor’s advice.
“Moreover, contraceptives are essential health care for women and should not be treated differently than other, equally important parts of comprehensive care for women, including well-woman visits, preconception care visits, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and other needed health care services."
If you are employed with company sponsored insurance benefits, and you have -or may have in the future- needs for contraceptive coverage, these changes could affect your contraceptive choices and costs. In the next year and years to come, it would behoove you to stay abreast of your company’s stance on contraceptive benefits for you and your family.
Suzanne Hall, MD, FACOG (@drsuzyyhall)
Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics, PC