ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 209

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 6, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Assemblyman  RAJ MUKHERJI

District 33 (Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Condemns federal rules allowing certain employers to deny employees health insurance coverage for contraception based on religious or moral objections.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


A Concurrent Resolution condemning federal rules allowing certain employers to deny employees health insurance coverage for contraception.

 

Whereas, On November 7, 2018, the United States Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor announced two final rules that provide “conscience protections” to employers and individuals who have either a religious or a moral objection to health insurance that covers contraceptive methods; and

Whereas, The rules allow employers with religious or moral objections to deny hundreds of thousands of employees and their dependents contraceptive coverage, which is otherwise required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”); and

Whereas, Specifically, these rules broaden exemptions from the ACA’s requirement that contraception be covered without consumer cost sharing such that many non-governmental employers, nonprofits, for-profits, non-governmental institutions of higher education, and insurers, can deny contraception coverage based on religious or moral objections; and

Whereas, The ACA’s contraception coverage mandate has made contraceptive methods accessible and affordable to millions of women and has significantly reduced out-of-pocket spending; and

Whereas, According to the National Women’s Law Center, nearly 62.8 million women across the country, 1.9 million of whom are New Jersey residents, currently have insurance coverage of birth control, with no out-of-pocket costs; and

Whereas, Research has shown that, as a result of the ACA’s contraception coverage mandate, millions of American women have saved a total of at least $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket health care costs each year, with an average of over $250 in annual savings per contraceptive user; and

Whereas, In addition to reducing risks of unintended pregnancies, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and health complications associated with pregnancy, contraception can also be prescribed to treat menstrual disorders, acne, pelvic pain, and several other medical conditions; and

Whereas, The current administration is moving forward with implementation of these rules, despite two federal court rulings issuing preliminary injunctions blocking the enforcement of essentially identical interim rules released in October 2017; and

Whereas, Restricting access to contraception through these regulations threatens the health, economic well-being, and financial empowerment of women in New Jersey and across the United States; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):

     1.    The New Jersey Legislature condemns the federal government’s final rules that allow many employers to deny health insurance coverage for contraceptive services and supplies for their employees and dependents, based on religious or moral objections.

 

     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury, and the Secretary of the United States Department of Labor.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This concurrent resolution condemns two federal final rules that provide “conscience protections” to employers and individuals who have a religious or a moral objection to health insurance that covers contraceptive methods. The final rules were released by the United States Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor on November 7, 2018, and broaden exemptions from the legal mandate for full insurance coverage of contraception, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).

     The rules allow that, in general, most non-governmental employers, including nonprofits, for-profits, non-governmental institutions of higher education, and insurers, can deny health insurance coverage for contraception based on religious or moral objections. Under current federal law, exemptions are primarily offered to religious employers.

     The ACA’s contraception coverage mandate has made access to the full range of contraceptive methods affordable to millions of women and has significantly reduced out-of-pocket spending. According to the National Women’s Law Center, nearly 62.8 million women across the country, 1.9 million of whom are New Jersey residents, currently have insurance coverage of birth control, with no out-of-pocket costs. As a result of the ACA’s contraception coverage mandate, millions of American women have saved a total of at least $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket health care costs.

     The implementation of these rules would significantly affect the health and economic well-being of many women in New Jersey and across the United States who have been able to gain contraception coverage as a result of the ACA.