Monday, February 4, 2013

Tax-exempt religious employers also exempt from contraception mandate

This story comes from a recent piece in the Los Angeles Times discussing the Obama administration’s proposal that employees of religiously affiliated employers get coverage for contraception through a separate, private insurance company free of cost.

The Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate is the center of many lawsuits that challenge the law for imposing on religious freedom. Advocates of reproductive rights and religiously affiliated employers vehemently disagree on the appropriateness of the contraception mandate and the administration’s most recent proposal attempts to reconcile the concerns of both groups.

Under this new proposal, churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the contraception mandate as long as the institutions qualify as a tax-exempt religious employer. Hospitals, charities, and universities having religious affiliations primarily providing nonreligious services, on the other hand, do not receive exemption from the contraception mandate in the same way as churches and houses of worship. However, the proposal offers a system by which employers are sheltered from having to pay for the contraception coverage and from having to arrange contraception coverage for their employees.


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