The Supreme Court recently ruled that a group of Catholic nuns will not need to comply with the ObamaCare contraception mandate in ObamaCare while their lawsuit is in court, so long as they declare their objections in writing. Specifically, the Supreme Court ordered the Little Sisters of the Poor to inform the Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) they will not comply with the health care law requirement that employers must offer contraceptive coverage. Once the group informs the DHHS, the injunction will stand until the case is resolved.
The health care law requires most health insurance plans to cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives as preventive care for women, free of cost to the patient. Although churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the birth control requirement, affiliated institutions that serve the general public, including charitable organizations, universities and hospitals, are not exempt.
Currently, insurers or health plan administrators are required to provide birth control coverage, but the religious group can attempt to distance itself from this action by signing a form for the insurer saying that the group objects to the coverage. The insurer can then go forward with the coverage. The Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Denver nuns who run nursing homes for the poor, have argued that signing this form makes them complicit in providing contraceptive coverage in violation of their religious beliefs. The Supreme Court’s ruling exempted the nuns from following the government form requirements. Instead, the nuns only have to inform the DHHS in "writing."