Thursday, July 3, 2014
One thing I have not seen very much discussion of in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision in Hobby Lobby is the question of the continuing impace of state laws mandating contraception coverage. (This is a subject Michael Moreland and I and other have discussed here in the past.)
More than half of the states have so-called "contraceptive equity" statutes. Such statute are different from the ACA in that (1) there is no direct mandate imposed on employers (because of ERISA, they take the fom of insurance regulation requiring that insurance cover contraception) and (2) they do not prohibit cost-sharing. While it is less dirct than the ACA mandate, such laws still have the effect of forcing employers with opposition to contraception to have plans that provide for them.
The ACA mandate made those laws seem unimportant, but given the decision in Hobby Lobby, they may matter again.
Since the federal RFRA does not apply to states, in states that do not have their own version of RFRA, presumably such laws will continue to operate. Although many such statutes have exemptions for religious employers, some of those are fairly restrictive.
Thoughts from Michael Moreland and others?