Recently the Obama Administration compromised to allow waivers for religious organizations to restrict paying for contraceptives on their health plans.
What does that mean for most religious groups that offer health benefits? Unless a group is self funded and writes their own plan, it will be difficult to change things. As we have discussed in earlier blogs posts, 98% of all employers purchase fully insured plans from insurance companies. Insurance companies file their plans and, for the most part, are abiding by the original requirements in ACA on what to cover. Therefore, if a group is fully insured, they cannot just change their plan.
It is possible that the insurance carriers may roll out plans that give these types of groups a chance to change their plan. However, at this point that is not possible and we usually see insurance companies move slowly on these events.
The administration rolled this out to allow for waivers. The carriers will probably wait and see if there are a lot of requests and then decide if they will react.
To read more on this topic, please read Administration Offers Contraception Compromise for Religious Employers, an article that appeared on WSJ Online.