Thursday, February 05, 2015

Court Says Religious Non-Profits Need Not Identify Their Insurers To HHS

In Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. v. Burwell, (MD FL, Feb. 3, 2015), a Florida federal district court granted a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of part of the latest rules accommodating religious non-profits' objections to the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate:
The Court finds that the portion of the accommodation process which requires plaintiffs to self-certify their eligibility for the accommodation and provide that written self-certification to the HHS does not substantially burden plaintiffs’ exercise of religion.... This notification need not be on a government-issued form.
... [However] the Court reaches the opposite conclusion as to the portion of the government form which requires identification of and the contact information for plaintiffs’ insurance carrier and/or third party administrator.... Compelling plaintiffs to identify their providers or administrators to the HHS clearly facilitates the government’s ability to implement contraceptive coverage for plaintiffs’ female employees. While plaintiffs cannot preclude the government from such implementation, the identification requirement compels plaintiffs to become excessively entangled in the process of providing coverage for services which their sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit....
AP reports on the decision.