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Local Impact Of Supreme Court Birth Control Decision Could Be Minimal


Steve Roppolo, regional managing partner in the Houston office, was quoted extensively in a June 30, 2014 Houston Chronicle article on the U.S. Supreme Court decision that closely held, for-profit companies do not have to provide birth control as part of their employee health plans will likely have political ramifications. But practically speaking, the decision probably won't have much of an effect on companies based in the Houston area, employee benefit experts said.

The company must be "closely held," which means more than 50 percent of the stock must be owned by five or fewer individuals and the owners must have sincerely held religious beliefs.

Steve said he knew of at least one group of Catholic business owners, including some clients, that had been waiting to hear how the high court would rule.

"Several of them have told me that they were very concerned about having to choose between violating their religious beliefs and being fined by the government (or dropping their employees' insurance entirely - something that was also against their religious beliefs)."

"Until now, all I could tell those business owners was that they should wait to see how the Hobby Lobby case turns out," he added.

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