Posted: January 28, 2016 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY
What You Should Know About the Future of Birth Control Coverage
In 2014, it was impossible to turn on the news and not see Hobby Lobby at the forefront of the war against birth control coverage.
In case you missed it, the owners of craft store Hobby Lobby challenged the idea that under the Affordable Care Act, they would be required to offer health insurance to their employees which would cover oral contraception without a co-pay. They challenged this requirement on the grounds of infringement of their right to religious freedom. The court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby to the dismay of women (and women’s advocates) nationwide.
So why are we bringing this up again? Well, the Supreme Court will soon take up a new case which will make a final decision on how birth control coverage should be handled by employers who report a religious objection.
Should you be concerned? Well, if you are currently covered under your company’s policy, you might want to keep a close eye on this very important decision.
Here are the basics of what you should know:
- Currently, religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations and other for-profit organizations that feel covering contraceptives is challenging their religious beliefs are able to fill out a form which can be sent to the insurance company or the the federal government. In this case, the insurance company pays for BC coverage. Some organizations have instead gone straight to the Supreme Court with their objections because they still want to deny women coverage, even though it isn’t coming out of their own pockets.
- So why would companies not just fill out the form? It seems most who are headed to the Supreme Court simply don’t want contraceptives covered at all. When the one page form is submitted, the employer essentially pays nothing toward birth control but some feel that because insurance is covering it that they are still playing a part in facilitating a medication they are religiously against.
- Contraception coverage is guaranteed by law and by blocking it we are looking at a form of sex discrimination. This law was put into place to continue promoting women’s equality. As it currently stands, women already pay more for health insurance than their male peers and cutting off the ability to access birth control pills affordability denies women the right to control their lives and their careers.
- Women deserve the right to have birth control, regardless of their employers beliefs and until the decision is made to protect those rights, we will have to continue the battle to stop this discrimination.