At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ General Assembly last month, it was announced that a new Catholic insurance program entitled “Catholic Benefits Association” has been established to provide employees of our non-exempt affiliates, like Catholic Charities, Catholic nursing homes, separately incorporated high schools, and the like, with health care benefits while not violating Catholic moral values.
As many readers know, the HHS contraceptive mandate requires the so-called “non-exempt” insurers and employers (organizations other than houses of worship, small employers, and employers with grandfathered-in plans) to include contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and devices, sterilization, and related counseling (“CASC Services”) in their own health plans. If they don’t, the fine for refusal can be up to $36,500 per employee annually.
The so-called “accommodation” for these non-exempt ministries, so proudly touted by the current federal executive, requires such organizations to sign and deliver a form that triggers the legal duty of the organization’s third party administrator or group insurer to provide the CASC services. To sign such a form involves formal cooperation with evil. One does not escape a moral problem by causing someone else to provide an immoral service.
For more information about the Catholic Benefits Association solution, visit its website, or call Nancy Matthews, membership director, at (203) 913-2051. The CBA membership form is on its website.
On June 4, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma issued an injunction exempting all present members of the Catholic Benefits Association from the federal CASC mandate. A copy of this order is on the CBA website. The CBA protected 420 previously non-exempt employer members with this order — seven times the number of Catholic employers exempted in all other lawsuits combined.
The CBA has now filed papers asking the Court to extend its order to the second wave of CBA members. If those in affiliated ministries are not exempt or are relying upon grandfathered status (designed by the government to be temporary), those persons should consider becoming a CBA member in this second wave. However, one must act quickly because the hearing is likely to take place soon.
God bless you!
Category: From the Chancery