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One in 10 large nonprofits seek accommodation from contraceptive mandate

Overall, only 3 percent apply, Kaiser Family Foundation finds

About 10 percent of large nonprofit organizations have sought an "accommodation" from the Affordable Care Act's requirement that private health insurance plans provide contraceptive coverage for women, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The study looked at employer responses to an annual survey and found a minority of nonprofits have elected an accommodation to the contraceptive coverage requirement. Overall, 3 percent of nonprofits that offer health benefits elected the accommodation, according to the study. Only 2 percent of very small nonprofits (those with 10 to 49 employees) elected the accommodation, a number that rose for larger nonprofits (those with more than 1,000 employees) to 10 percent.

The ACA requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services, including most contraceptives for women. The government, however, established an accommodation for religiously affiliated nonprofit employers with objections to contraceptives. 

Some nonprofits with religious affiliations do not believe the accommodation under the law sufficiently addresses their concerns and violates their religious rights. They are pursuing legal action to gain an "exception" from the rule, rather than the existing "accommodation," the Kaiser study said. Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to rule on several religious nonprofits' objections to the current regulations.

The Court is expected to rule on whether these nonprofits, such as universities, hospitals and charities, can be free from any involvement in providing their employees with contraceptive coverage. "For workers and their dependents, the distinction between an accommodation and an exemption is the difference between guaranteed no-cost contraceptive coverage and having to pay out-of-pocket for services that could potentially exceed hundreds of dollars a year," the study concluded.

To learn more:
- read the study

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