Sunday, January 13, 2013

PPACA, the Supreme Court, Contraceptive Pills, and Employers

Some issues surrounding the Patient Protection Affordability and Care Act (PPACA) are still being hammered out in courts and workplaces.  One employer, Hobby Lobby, disagrees with a contraception requirement and is facing potential excise taxes as a result.  As this may be a controversial topic, please feel free to leave a comment about your own experiences and your own opinions.

PPACA, the Supreme Court, Contraceptive Pills, and Employers

As of January 1st, resulting from passage of the PPACA, arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby faced a $100 per participant per day per plan excise tax for failure to offer their employees the “morning after pill” as part of their health benefits package.  Hobby Lobby maintains that they should be protected from offering this due to the religious objections of the company’s owners.  Overall, this will result in approximately $1.3 million per day fines for the company.

On 12/26/2012, Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor rejected an appeal on the case, as it still had not been heard in a Court of Appeals.  Following her decline to grant an injunction on the mandate for contraception protection, the company faced the steep fines.  However, the company claims that they have discovered a loophole in the IRS regulations behind the fines.   Lawyers for the Hobby Lobby are going to take advantage of a “grandfather clause” which will postpone the date in which they will be required to comply with the contraception mandate.  According to general counsel Peter Dobelbower, "Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plan.  Hobby Lobby will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties."

The Hobby Lobby case is due to be heard in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the near future; a date has not yet been set.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans. 

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes. Do not take what I am writing as advice. Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions. The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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