White House: Companies Refusing to Cover Contraception Must Tell Employees


The White House sent a message Thursday to closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby that if they want to opt out of contraceptive coverage, they have to tell their employees.

If companies decide not to cover any of the 20 methods of contraception covered under the Affordable Care Act, they have 60 days to disclose that change to their employees, according to an update on the Department of Labor’s website.

It is not a new rule, but rather a clarification that existing rules still apply after the Supreme Court granted corporations the religious freedom to deny their employees contraceptive coverage in employer-sponsored insurance plans.

The message from the White House is a response to the Senate’s failure on Wednesday to overcome a filibuster and pass a bill that would have overturned the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.

“Yesterday, a majority of the Senate voted for a bill to keep bosses from interfering in a woman’s health care. Now the House should act,” a senior administration official said. “In the meantime, we are making clear that if a corporation like Hobby Lobby drops coverage of contraceptive services from its health plan, it must do so in the light of day by letting its workers and their families know.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has also introduced a bill that would require corporations to disclose their lack of contraceptive coverage to potential employees as well as current ones.

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  • BelligerentBruncher

    Just like they already do when they don’t cover dental. Or vision. Or any other stipulation on the plan.

    • fiona64

      Wow. I guess a stopped clock really is right twice a day.

    • lady_black

      You have to get separate dental and vision coverage. The only “dental” expense covered by medical insurance is wisdom tooth extraction, because it’s considered maxillofacial surgery.

      • BelligerentBruncher

        I don’t HAVE TO get anything. If I choose to, I can. Otherwise, I choose to purchase it out of pocket.

        Hey, I just thought of a great company that you could start and save all those poor women who are “being denied access to contraception.”

        Lady Blacks™ Supplemental Contraception Coverage, LLC. “For women who work at Hobby Lobby and stuff.” But, of course, you’d have to sell to men as well, but let the lawyers work that out.

        • lady_black

          Dummy, I meant if you want dental and vision insurance coverage that must be purchased separately. Most healthcare facilities I’ve worked for offer that coverage at very reasonable rates, and my husband’s employer has always offered them, but they are always separate from your PPO, HMO or whatever type of comprehensive medical coverage you get.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            Yeah, I know what you meant. No need for the name calling.

            If you don’t start the business….I’m going to. Just don’t complain when BelligerentBruncer® creates the most kick-ass contraception-only insurance company. It’s gonna be the Google© of birth control. I’m offering you a spot at the ground level.

            A million women with birth control isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?

            A BILLION women.

          • feminista

            You should also start an abortion rider for rape/life of mother company, since Republicans have passed bills making it illegal for insurance to cover abortion under all circumstances.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            Not a bad idea feminista*, not a bad idea at all.
            http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/250×250/52083317.jpg

            *this name subject to change.

    • JamieHaman

      Going to the dentist may not be covered by your insurance, but getting the prescription the dentist writes is.

      • BelligerentBruncher

        Yet, a prescription for finasteride wouldn’t be covered by my insurance company if it is used for MPB instead of BPH. (hint: just because it is a prescription doesn’t mean that it is covered)

        Why is my insurance company discriminating against men?

        • JamieHaman

          Are they? Really? Must be exploiting that equal opportunity at last.

  • StealthGaytheist

    It would be nice if they’d tell the general public, so consumers could know who to boycott.

    • BelligerentBruncher

      I’m not really into the boycotting thing, but if you want to that’s your choice.

      But I do think if someone wants to publish a website that shows what coverage is available for health insurance from specific companies, that should be a thing. I think Consumer Reports did a pretty good job of that a few years back

      http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/11/health-insurance-rankings/index.htm

      You may need a subscription to see that….but I’m sure it’s on the web for free somewhere.

  • fiona64

    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has also introduced a bill
    that would require corporations to disclose their lack of contraceptive
    coverage to potential employees as well as current ones.

    Since the “libertarians” are always arguing that people have a choice not to work for companies that refuse to provide full medical coverage for women, I should think this disclosure would be welcomed by all.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Get the popcorn. This is going to get good.

  • Jay DeGraaf

    “If companies decide not to cover any of the 20 methods of contraception covered under the Affordable Care Act, they have 60 days to disclose that change to their employees, according to an update on the Department of Labor’s website.”

    The Supreme Court ruled that companies cannot deny 20 forms of contraception, only 4.

    • feminista

      Wrong.

      • Jay DeGraaf

        It’s actually correct.

        http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/07/01/is-hobby-lobby-really-banning-birth-control-and-preventing-its-workers-from-being-able-to-make-their-own-health-care-decisions/

        National Review has provided a list of all of the drugs and procedures that Hobby Lobby employees can still take advantage of free of charge — including oral birth control:

        Male condoms

        Female condoms

        Diaphragms with spermicide

        Sponges with spermicide

        Cervical caps with spermicide

        Spermicide alone

        Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)

        Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)

        Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)

        Contraceptive patches

        Contraceptive rings

        Progestin injections

        Implantable rods

        Vasectomies

        Female sterilization surgeries

        Female sterilization implants

        I know it’s difficult when the facts clash with your own individual narrative, but the SCOTUS ruling was clear.

        • feminista

          The court just ruled that all 20 forms of contraception can be disallowed

          • Jay DeGraaf

            Link?

          • lady_black

            It’s on this website. Look it the fuck up.

          • Jay DeGraaf

            Thanks for the kind responses. Do you think this website is more authoritative than, let’s say, the Supreme Court’s memo?

            http://www2.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/Burwell_v_Hobby_Lobby_Stores_Inc_No_13354_and_13356_US_June_30_20

          • lady_black

            That was their memo concerning only the Hobby Lobby Case. The following day, July 1, 2014, The SCOTUS sent all cases before it concerning objections to ANY type of contraception back to the lower courts “for reconsideration in light of the decision in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell. All cases where the lower court had found in favor of the objectors were permitted to stand. Now I know it’s tempting to believe you can take the SCOTUS’s word that their decision is a narrow one. The facts show that it’s not.

          • feminista
          • Jay DeGraaf

            Your website linked here http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/07/wider-impact-of-hobby-lobby-ruling/

            Which says… “The Supreme Court sent a fairly strong signal on Tuesday that its ruling giving some for-profit businesses a right not to provide birth control services to their female workers goes beyond the specific methods at issue in that decision. It issued a series of orders on six cases, each of which involved owners who objected to all of the pregnancy-related services mandated under the new federal health care law.”

            No ruling has been made on it yet. It still seems to be in the lower courts. The Hobby Lobby ruling was quite clear. We’ll see what happens in these other cases. As of yet, no verdict has been made.

          • NB

            I don’t have the SC link, but you should be able to track it down with the information at the beginning of this article:
            http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/supreme-court-scotus-hobby-lobby-all-forms-contraception

          • fiona64

            Already supplied. Repeatedly.

        • lady_black

          That might be what Hobby Lobby offers. But the SCOTUS decision says they do not need to cover any contraception at all. And since male and female condoms and the sponge is OTC, they won’t be covered at all, even by Hobby Lobby.

          • Jay DeGraaf

            Dang. You mean they actually have to shell out $4 for a pack of condoms? Or $15 for the pill at Target? Monsters.

          • lady_black

            I did not say “pill.” I said condoms and sponges. These are not covered by ANY insurer, because the are OTC. They are also not very good.

          • Red

            $15 without insurance? Not sure where you live but that’d be fantastic for many women who use the pill. With insurance, I was paying $35 for my prescription till my insurance decided to not cover my particular prescription. I could’ve stayed on it but I can’t exactly afford $100 or so out of pocket for a medication each month and there are many women in that same position but without insurance. On top of that, condoms can’t treat the various medical conditions that require use of hormonal contraceptives like endometriosis and ovarian cysts.

          • fiona64

            Dang. You really mean you’re so stupid that you think condoms are prescription medications, or that every pill is the same and all women use identical versions?

            Idiot.

        • fiona64

          The Blaze is incorrect.

      • fiona64

        FWIW … I don’t think I can go back over to SPL. I don’t know how you guys can stand dealing with stupid myintx. I can no longer keep a civil tongue in my head where that ignoramus is concerned.

        • vulgarism

          myintx rarely posts there

          she is only posting so much atm because we are there – just like Thomas

          • fiona64

            I have numerous unkind thoughts about what I wish would happen to her … and i feel very sorry for her daughter, who is being brought up by that self-loathing hag.

          • vulgarism

            I have never met anyone more deliberately obtuse than she

            What amazes me is that she truly thinks that her arguments are great – that if anyone chooses not to debate her, it’s because she is so earth shatteringly amazing. No, I am sorry but ‘you want to kill infants because you’re pro-choice’ is NOT an argument.

            Some of the folks there come up with real doozies though. I have spent a long time ‘debating’ Simon Jm – he is the one who argues that zygotes = people because they are like The Transformers (that the ability to develop into something else means that you ARE that something else before you transform into it). He is currently trying to tell me that no, he isn’t punishing women for having sex when he suggests that since women will have sex and create a moral being with an ‘existential dependency’ that women then owe that zef bodily compensation, but, since it wouldn’t be right for the government to FORCE women to give birth, they will simply be thrown in jail for 5 years to life should they seek a completely legal abortion. He then compared it to taking your infant off to a desert island, and refusing to bring any milk, which then results in your infant’s death! Exact same thing! So, if you go to jail for neglecting your infant and causing it’s death, you should ALSO go to jail for failing to provide ‘duty of care’ re gestation!! But no, he assures me, he isn’t actually holding women strictly liable for the crime of ovulating, he is holding them liable for their failure to provide bodily compensation to a moral being!!

            Does any of that make sense? Thought not!

            Meanwihile, Elizabeth Doecke, on another thread, is telling me how much she HATES naturalistic fallacies and never uses them, after which she says that no, pregnancy/labour/birth can’t actually be classed as harmful/painful/torture because your body is doing *exactly* what it’s meant to do!

            The sad thing is, these two fucknuts are actually a higher class of anti-abortionist than the fucknuts we usually get here!

        • expect_resistance

          I think I’m done posting there too. Myintx is like a child that keeps asking why. She is annoying. Btw you were doing a great job posting at spl.

          • vulgarism

            I am much happier when I ignore her. I did th same, mostly, with Thomas. When their posts show up in my email they go straight to the recycle bin. I only ever respond to her on occasion.

          • expect_resistance

            It gets tedious to respond to her overused canned responses. But she does kind of flip her lid when I mention tampon funerals.

          • fiona64

            Thank you.

    • P. McCoy

      If you can’t use the other 16 and need the 4 it’s like having zero. Or for you to understand it better say YOU believe that you need Cialis or Viagra but Hobby Lobby only supplies DME for ED and you can’t afford the pills without insurance and with a health plan you can’t switch to one providing said pills. Then you’d best get those fingers nimble enough to work that pump or get used to nights playing bingo instead of lovin’.

    • lady_black

      No they did not.

    • BelligerentBruncher

      The Supreme Court’s job isn’t necessarily about the specifics of this case.

      Deny 4 forms? 5? 6? 10 out of 20? It doesn’t really matter. The number wasn’t the point of the case.

      The case, ostensibly was about not being able to force employers to provide things that they don’t want. Now, in this country, we have a pretty strict criteria for WHY a company should be allowed to not provide service. See discrimination laws. Por ejemplo, si, some companies don’t want to serve pancakes to black patrons. Well, that shit used to be OK. But, the Supreme Court ruled that it no longer is. And while some Americans still object, I think the consensus is that it’s not OK to discriminate based on the melanin content of ones character …err skin.

      Now, as far as religion goes…..well, we don’t just allow people to hide behind the “It’s a religion…therefore it’s protected under the 1st amendment.” It’s a good idea, in theory, but some religions believe in some pretty bat-shit crazy stuff. Like human sacrifice. The concept of how much we as a society allow certain regions to practice is not new. This has been debated in the courts before…and will continue to be debated in the courts until religion ever become extinct.

      Personally, I’m OK with the SCOTUS decision. Why? Because even as an Atheist, I know that freedom of religion is important. And freedom to get no-copay birth control as mandated by the ACA (as much as it is a great idea) is not a Constitutional right.

      I’ve already written a lot. And if you’re still reading, you are probably lady_black, or feminista, or fiona. Hi. And thanks for making it to the end of this rant. I’m out…..

      • Unicorn Farm

        I sincerely think you can believe that freedom of religion is important (as I do) and still believe that Hobby Lobby was wrongly decided. There’s a lot of really solid analysis out there about the substantial flaws in the legal analysis that the majority employed.

        • L-dan

          I believe the freedom to practice one’s religion is important, simply because it’s essentially a personal freedom issue. Basically, what you do in your own time is not the government’s business if it doesn’t impact anyone else.

          However, when your practices do impact others, or break reasonable laws, those practices are no longer reasonable. We don’t allow human sacrifices, we don’t allow animal cruelty (animal sacrifice = ok), even according to this ruling we won’t allow employers to ban vaccinations and blood transfusions from health insurance. So practicing your religious beliefs in ways that impact other people has suddenly become ok…basically.

          In fact, this ruling directly stems from the idiocy of wanting to carve out a special exemption to take otherwise illegal drugs as part of religious practice (peyote). The RFRA was a hamfisted way of allowing peyote to continue being used religiously when they could have done something much narrower.

          Somehow this court decided that providing health insurance for
          employees, when that insurance is required to meet certain minimums that
          you don’t agree with, burdens one’s religious beliefs. I still don’t
          see how. You’re paying for insurance coverage, period. Some people will
          use it to get birth control, some won’t. How is this an different than
          handing them a paycheck which some will use to buy birth control? You
          are still not directly paying for birth control for anyone in either
          case.

          Additionally, corporations are jumping at the chance to use this ruling as precedent to declare that not being allowed to discriminate against LGBT people is against their beliefs, allowing collective bargaining is against their beliefs. How long before someone claims that serving black people is against their religious beliefs?

          • fiona64

            How long before someone claims that serving black people is against their religious beliefs?

            Heh. On another board, an African-American gentleman opined that “A business should be able to operate in any way it wants, without exception.” I asked him which end of the Woolworth’s lunch counter would be available to him under those circumstances … and he was notably silent after that.

        • L-dan

          and that was supposed to be a reply to BB above. :p

        • fiona64

          Exactly. Freedom of religion does not come with the right to inflict your religious beliefs on others.

    • fiona64

      Wrong. The day after the ruling, Alito clarified that the ruling covered *all* forms of contraception. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/scotus-says-hobby-lobby-ruling-applies-broadly