Contraceptive Equity Act Lawyers

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Can My Employer Deny Coverage of Contraceptives on their Health Insurance Plan for Employees if they Are a Religious Organization?

No. The Contraceptive Equity Act says that if an employer is going to provide a healthcare plan for its employees as a benefit, it must also provide coverage for prescriptive contraceptives used by female employees (male employees are not covered by the Act). This applies even to employers who are affiliated with religious organizations.

Not only can an employer not deny coverage of prescriptive contraceptives in a employee healthcare plan, but cannot impose deductibles, co-payments, other cost-sharing mechanisms, or waiting periods for contraceptives covered under the plan. This means that prescriptive contraceptives must be completely covered under the employee healthcare plan; the employer cannot force female employees to share the cost in paying for the contraceptives. Employers also cannot encourage employees not to take the coverage or penalize the healthcare professional for having prescribed contraceptives. Employers cannot give rebates or pay an employee for not accepting coverage of contraceptives under the employee healthcare plan. Employers also cannot reduce reimbursement to a healthcare professional for writing a prescription for contraceptives for an employee, nor can the employer bribe the professional not to provide prescriptions for contraceptives.

Does this Act Also Apply to Employers Who Are Religious-Affiliated Charities?

While the Act does not include clergy officials and members of religious orders in employment regulations, it does include any institutions that provide a secular service. This means that any hospitals, universities, and relief agencies (including social service nonprofit organizations), whether or not they are affiliated with a religious group, must provide for contraceptive coverage in its healthcare plan for employees.

What Should I Do if My Employer Refuses to Provide Coverage for Contraceptives in the Healthcare Plan it Provides for Employees?

You may want to consult an attorney who has some experience in employment law. Your attorney can advise you of your rights and let you know whether you can force your employer to provide such coverage or at least compensate you for paying for contraceptives that are not covered under your employment healthcare plan.

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Last Modified: 06-06-2012 04:26 PM PDT

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