In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case, the final regulations amend the definition of an “eligible organization” for purposes of the accommodations approach described above to include a closely held for-profit entity that has a religious objection to providing coverage for some or all of the contraceptive services otherwise required to be covered.
Under the final regulations, a qualifying closely held for-profit entity will not be required to contract, arrange, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage. Instead, payments for contraceptive services provided to participants and beneficiaries in the eligible organization’s plan would be provided or arranged separately by an issuer or a TPA.
The final rules define a qualifying closely held for-profit entity based on an existing definition in the Internal Revenue Code. For this purpose, a “closely held for-profit entity” is an entity that:
• Is not a nonprofit entity
• Has no publicly traded ownership interests
• Has more than 50 percent of the value of its ownership interest owned directly or indirectly by five or fewer individuals
For purposes of this definition, all of the ownership interests held by members of a family are treated as being owned by a single individual. In addition, the rule provides that entities whose ownership structure is substantially similar to this definition can also qualify for the accommodation. An organization that is unsure about whether its ownership structure qualifies as “substantially similar” can seek guidance from HHS.
To be eligible for the accommodation, the for-profit entity’s highest governing body (such as its board of directors, board of trustees or owners, if managed directly by its owners) must adopt a resolution or similar action, under the organization’s applicable rules of governance and consistent with applicable state law, establishing that it objects to covering some or all of the contraceptive services on account of the owners’ sincerely held religious beliefs.
A qualifying closely held for-profit entity seeking the accommodation may use either of the two notification options available to qualifying nonprofit entities that seek the accommodation.
On July 10, 2015, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments) released final regulations on the ACA’s women’s preventive care coverage requirement.
• Finalize an accommodation for eligible nonprofit organizations and for- profit businesses with religious objections to providing contraceptive coverage, including related documentation standards.
• Clarify general rules on the coverage of preventive services generally.
The regulations are applicable on the first day of the first plan or policy year beginning on or after Sept. 12, 2015.