There has been another court case filed in regards to the birth control mandate. The owners of Triune Health Group are Roman Catholic and felt that contraception coverage in employer sponsored health plans violated their own, personal, religious beliefs. A judge has granted the company a temporary injunction from the birth control mandate.
To me, this is a rather odd court case! The first unexpected thing about it is the company that the case involves. Triune Health Group describes itself as “experts in Health Care Management”.
They have been helping people for 20 years to improve their health and wellness and to recover more quickly from injuries and illnesses that prevent them from working. The company is involved with Workers Compensation and short term disability. In other words, this is a court case where a health care company is fighting against the birth control mandate.
Triune Health Group was named one of Chicago’s Best Places to Work for women in June of 2012. Some of the criteria that was used to identify businesses that earned the title include “qualitative issues about pay, promotions, health care, and other benefits”. Another criteria includes “qualitative issues about women’s career development, health care, (and) office facilities”.
Why on Earth would a company that is focused on health and wellness, and that has earned a title for being a great place for women to work be fighting against contraceptive coverage? It is because the lawsuit has little to do with the actual company. Instead, it is about the religious beliefs of the owners of the company.
The owners of Triune Health Group are Christopher and Mary Anne Yep. The Yeps are Roman Catholic. They sued because they believe that offering coverage for contraception in the health plans that their company offers to workers violates their own, personal, religious beliefs.
In short, they want Triune Health Group to be exempt from having to comply with the birth control mandate. They also want to be exempt from having to pay the fines that would be imposed upon for-profit companies that choose not to comply with the Affordable Care Act.
Which brings me to the other really strange thing about this case. Triune Health Group’s current health plan covers contraception, sterilization, and abortion for about 48 workers and their dependents.
Judge Amy St. Eve is a District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She granted Triune Health Group a temporary injunction from having to comply with the birth control mandate.
The Yeps are intending to change the health care plan that they offer to employees to exclude coverage of contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion. I expect this change will affect the company’s ability to be considered as one of Chicago’s Best Places to Work for women.
Image by walknboston on Flickr