Saturday, July 23, 2016

Federal Agencies Seek Public Input On Contraceptive Mandate Accommodation

In a Request For Information (full text) published yesterday in the Federal Register, the IRS, HHS and Employee Benefits Security Administration asked for suggestions on ways to further accommodate objections by religious non-profits to  furnishing their employees coverage for contraceptive services in employer health plans.  The Release is the government's response to the U.S. Supreme Court's remand last May in Zubki v. Burwell. (See prior posting.) The Release says in part:
The Departments are using the RFI procedure because the issues addressed in the supplemental briefing in Zubik affect a wide variety of stakeholders, including many who are not parties to the cases that were before the Supreme Court. Other employers also have brought RFRA challenges to the accommodation, and their views may differ from the views held by the employers in Zubik and the consolidated cases. In addition, any change to the accommodation could have implications for the rights and obligations of issuers, third party administrators, and women enrolled in health plans established by objecting employers.
Responses must be submitted by Sept. 20. [Thanks to Jeff Pasek for the lead.]