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September 1, 2015

A Reminder for Companies That End Contraceptive Services Coverage

The Senate on Wednesday did not advance a predominantly Democratic-led measure that would roll back the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision on contraceptive services coverage for “closely held” companies.  On Thursday, the administration quietly offered its own response through a joint agency update to a series of Department of Labor guidance notices on the ongoing implementation of the health care overhaul law.

Here is the response to a FAQ inquiry about notification requirements for companies choosing to cease providing coverage for contraceptive services:

For plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), ERISA requires disclosure of information relevant to coverage of preventive services, including contraceptive coverage. Specifically, the Department of Labor’s longstanding regulations at 29 CFR 2520.102-3(j)(3) provide that, the summary plan description (SPD) shall include a description of the extent to which preventive services (which includes contraceptive services) are covered under the plan. Accordingly, if an ERISA plan excludes all or a subset of contraceptive services from coverage under its group health plan, the plan’s SPD must describe the extent of the limitation or exclusion of coverage. For plans that reduce or eliminate coverage of contraceptive services after having provided such coverage, expedited disclosure requirements for material reductions in covered services or benefits apply. See ERISA section 104(b)(1) and 29 CFR 2520.104b-3(d)(1), which generally require disclosure not later than 60 days after the date of adoption of a modification or change to the plan that is a material reduction in covered services or benefits. Other disclosure requirements may apply, for example, under State insurance law applicable to health insurance issuers.

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  1. Peter Brown

    July 18, 2014
    12:13 p.m.

    All this talk about the companies’ rights to decide to give contraceptive help or
    not to do so is really, really intrusive to individuals, i.e, this whole idea of deciding for others what they shall or MAY (not) do ! One’s own life and one’s own sexuality and practices are one’s OWN BUSINESS and in the finaly analysis, more and more people, over time, will realize that legislation and public debate and repressive activism against contraceiption have NO BUSINESS in people’s bedrooms. Abortion is a means of saving many lives and enabling normal
    human sexual persons to choose how they want to live. This over-the-top
    rationalization in a world full of suffering (and over-population, too) that
    “abortion is murder” is totally unworkable for humans. Especially when
    decisions are forced by legislation and church dogma. Every conceived
    child has a RIGHT TO BE WELCOMED into the world, and if the fetus
    isn’t, and is resented and proves to be an unexpected burden, there
    must be the RIGHT TO ABORT. The RIGHT, for those who elect
    to do so. THose who won’t do so, despite an unplanned pregnancy,
    that is THEIR RIGHT also. Religion is a personal matter and imposing
    our beliefs on others is a grievous injustice. To live and let live, and
    to love others is the MOST IMPORTANT thing ! There will be those
    who delcare with utter conviction that my words here are also “forced
    on people.” THey miss the point entirely !

  2. Bill Chelmowski

    July 18, 2014
    1:48 p.m.

    It’s NOT your own business if you want to force someone else to pay for it.

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