HHS Mandate goes into effect on August 1st, 2012

Despite talk about safe harbors and religious exceptions, many businesses will be forced, by the HHS mandate, to start providing abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception without copay to employees on the 1st of August, 2012.  This article explains some of the specifics of implementation of the mandate.  

If an employer provides fully insured, non-grandfathered coverage, 

…the change to contraception coverage will start August 1, 2012, regardless of the employer’s renewal date.  

If an employer provides a fully insured but grandfathered plan, the employer

…can choose whether to follow this law. 

If an employer self-insures,

…the benefit will start at the employer’s renewal date.  For example, since most self-funded employers renew in January, the change would go into effect January 1, 2013. 

Any employer, whether fully insured or self-insured, who offers coverage for the first time, (a new employer, for example),

the benefit change will go into effect on the plan start date.

Employers who have been granted safe harbor must begin to provide the coverage starting on the 1st of August, 2013.  This includes many religious institutions that don’t qualify as “religious” under the new definition of the mandate.  Most Catholic social service organizations, schools, hospitals, universities, and dioceses come under this safe harbor.

The bottom line: starting on the 1st of August of this year, non-religious employers (with a few exceptions) must begin to provide copay-free abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception to female employees.  Therefore, a small businessman (with 50 or more employees) will be forced to take action to violate his faith to stay in business.    

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