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Most nonprofits have not sought accommodation to contraceptive mandate


A minority of nonprofits offering health benefits have requested an accommodation from the health care reform law's so-called contraceptive mandate, according to an analysis published Tuesday.

Ten percent of all nonprofit groups offering health insurance in 2015 with 1,000 or more workers have sought an accommodation, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's analysis. And overall, only 3% of nonprofits with 10 or more employees have requested an accommodation, the analysis showed.

Many of the large nonprofits who have sought an accommodation are likely health systems or educational institutions affiliated with the Catholic Church, which is opposed to birth control, according to Kaiser's analysis.

Under the health care reform law, religious nonprofit employers are required to offer employees prescription contraceptives free of cost, or under an accommodation provided by the federal government, pass the obligation to their health insurer or third-party health plan administrator.

There were about 1.4 million nonprofits registered with the Internal Revenue Service in 2013, Kaiser said. The IRS does not collect uniform information on whether the nonprofits are religiously affiliated, according to the analysis.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court in November granted seven religious nonprofit groups' request to challenge the contraceptive mandate. The groups, which are primarily Christian colleges and charities, argue the mandate violates their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the accommodation does not address their concerns.

The groups are seeking an exemption from the mandate to provide contraceptive coverage, currently available only to houses of worship.

The high court also in November set the briefing schedule for the seven consolidated cases, and oral arguments are expected to begin in the spring.

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