In July, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld expanded exemptions to the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. Under these exemptions, plan sponsors that object to providing contraceptive coverage based on sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions will not be penalized for failing to include contraceptive coverage in the plan’s benefits.
The ACA requires non-grandfathered health plans to cover certain women’s preventive health services without cost sharing, including all FDA-approved contraceptives. Religious exemptions apply to certain churches, houses of worship, and other church-affiliated institutions, which allows them to choose not to contract, arrange, pay or refer for any contraceptive coverage.
In its 7:2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration had the authority under the ACA to provide exemptions from the contraceptive mandate for employers with religious and conscientious objections.
As a result, additional employers may now be able to opt out of providing the ACA-mandated contraceptive coverage. However, insurance carrier requirements and state law mandates may also affect an employer’s options for these benefits.