On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that for-profit companies can have religious exemptions from providing contraceptive coverage in their health care. These corporations include being majority owned by five or fewer individuals.
Contraceptives that can be exempted from coverage include IUDs and the morning-after pill. Other birth control pills were not disputed during the case.
But what effect will this decision have on small businesses across the country?
Small Business and Health Care
Under the Affordable Healthcare Act, any business with fewer than fifty employees is excluded from providing health care.
According to an insurance trade research firm, LIMRA, only 2 percent of small businesses have more than fifty employees.
This 2 percent would need to prove “sincere” religious beliefs to not be able to provide coverage of contraceptives. This sincerity test, though, has not been constructed yet.
Is the Decision Saving Money?
According to the Actuarial Research Corporation’s survey in 2011, the cost of covering a female’s insurance plan was 26 dollars per lady. Thus, the amount saved as a result of this decision is not very large.
The owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, Oregon said that “from a purely economic perspective, [unintended pregnancies are] going to cost me and my insurance provider a lot more than birth control costs.”
What might result is an increased amount of time that corporations will spend to reach exemptions. It is also not clear how the exemptions will be enforced and what will determine those exemptions.
Call JacksonWhite’s Small Business Law Team at (480) 464-1111 to discuss your case today.