Published January 11, 2013
Hobby Lobby may have just bought itself a few extra months as it battles against the ObamaCare mandate that it and other employers provide employees insurance covering emergency contraceptives.
An attorney for the Christian-owned company says the company has found a way to delay the effective date of the mandate, and in turn avoid the fines that would be imposed for not complying — at least for now.
Peter Dobelbower said in a statement Thursday that the company will shift the plan year for employee health insurance that will delay by several months the Jan. 1 effective date of the requirement. He said the company would continue to fight the mandate.
“Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plan,” he said. “Hobby Lobby will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties.”
Hobby Lobby sued to overturn the mandate on grounds that it violates the religious beliefs of founder and CEO David Green and his family. The Greens say requiring insurance for what is known as “morning-after” and “week-after” pills forces them to either violate their religious beliefs or face hefty fines. Some consider those pills to be tantamount to an abortion-inducing drug.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently denied the company’s request for an injunction while the lawsuit is pending.
The move to push off the effective date could save Hobby Lobby millions of dollars. The company has said the fines for not complying could add up to $1.3. million a day.
The mandate itself requires businesses and organizations, with some exceptions, to provide access to contraception coverage — Hobby Lobby was most concerned about coverage for the morning-after pill.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.