The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says nonprofit religious employers that object to providing birth control benefits should be able to certify that they are eligible for a mandate exemption themselves.
The organizations that self-certify would have to keep the self-certification on file, but they need not send self-certification forms to CMS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or other federal agencies, CMS officials say in a routine paperwork review document describing the self-certification process. Officials also filed review documents for a related model notice.
Eligible organizations would have to keep the self-certification form on file for six years, and they would have to make the form available for examination upon request. Officials say some commenters on a draft posted in 2013 thought HHS and other federal departments should require organizations to file the self-certification forms with the government.
“The departments believe that the requirement to make the self-certification available for examination upon request appropriately balances regulators’, issuers, and plan participants’ and beneficiaries’…interest in verifying compliance and eligible organizations’ interest in avoiding undue inquiry into their character, mission or practices,” officials say.