If you’re like me, you’ve had one eye on the news watching two different legal and social issues play out. I’m talking about Hobby Lobby and same-sex marriage in Indiana. I know, go ahead and roll your eyes, because I am also tired of hearing about these issues. But, as much as I’m tired of hearing other people’s opinions about these topics, I am interested in knowing their implications in the workforce. So of course, I called up Paul Ashley from First Person Advisors. He’s my go-to workplace benefits expert and I knew he would understand what’s up with these two issues. Listen for his insight on these rulings, and his take on their impact in the workplace.
Though this seems most likely to impact you and your organization, the ruling is in fact very narrow. It only applies to companies which are 1) closely held and 2) have and can document a sincere religious objection. How you prove #2 is beyond my comprehension, but regardless, it’s unlikely this ruling will impact your benefits in any way.
While the state of the ruling is still in hot debate, there are at least some immediate implications for this ruling. Mostly just in what employers’ reactions will be. So far mandating companies to provide benefits for same-sex partners hasn’t been on the docket, offering benefits is still up to each company individually. What it really comes down to is a public relations issue. The social implications are something each corporation will have to deal with individually. There are many more implications, especially related to taxes, but I won’t get into all of that. Mostly, just know, when open enrollment begins in the fall, it will be clunky. Ah, confusion in healthcare, the new norm.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.