KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Employers Worry They’ll Pay Bill For Those Exempt From Contraceptive Mandate

Businesses are concerned that non-religious employers will end up covering the bill for religious groups that refuse to pay for contraception for their employees. Meanwhile, church leaders continue their push to broaden the exemption from the contraception coverage rule.

Modern Healthcare: Employers Could Foot Bill For Religious Objectors To Contraceptive Coverage
As stakeholder groups examine HHS' recent final rule on contraceptive coverage under the health care reform law, non-religious employers and third-party benefits administrators are worried they'll have to foot the bill for contraceptives for employees of Catholic health systems and other religiously affiliated employers that opt out of paying. Late last week, the agency gave its final word on how mandated contraceptive coverage -- considered a preventive service under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- pertains to religious organizations that object to the requirement. The rule extended the effective date to Jan. 1, 2014, from its initial date of Aug. 1 of this year (Zigmond, 7/2).

Fox News: Religious Leaders Push For ObamaCare Contraception Mandate Exemptions
Leaders of religious groups representing more than 100 million Americans said Tuesday that religious institutions and business owners should not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage that violates their conscience. In an open letter unveiled at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, the coalition of groups urges the Department of Health and Human Services to exempt "any organization or individual that has religious or moral objections" to the so-called contraception mandate in ObamaCare (7/3).

Meanwhile, on the subject of the health law's Medicaid expansion -

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Ohio Tea Party Turning IRS To Advantage In Medicaid Expansion Battle
Tea party activists in Ohio want to turn an enemy -- the Internal Revenue Service -- into an ally as they fight continued efforts to expand Medicaid. In a confidential email sent to fellow Ohio tea party leaders and obtained by The Associated Press, Tom Zawistowski laid out a strategy for invoking a little-known IRS provision that allows citizens to challenge executive salaries and the nonprofit statuses of charitable hospitals (7/3).

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