The Obama Administration took a bold step to ensure contraception coverage for women under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when their non-profit employers won’t provide it because of religious convictions. It’s also trying to deal with the problem created by the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling that allows closely-held private companies to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage.
If a religious organization or a non-profit decides it won’t provide contraception coverage because of its religious beliefs, that’s its right according to a recent Supreme court ruling. But the Obama Administration’s new regulation aims to protect the rights of women employees.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell said, “Women across the country deserve access to recommended preventive services that are important to their health, no matter where they work.”
Here’s how they’ll get coverage.
If a non-profit objects to providing contraceptive coverage on religious grounds, they can notify HHS in writing about their objection.
HHS and the Department of Labor will then notify insurers and third party administrators so that women enrolled in their plans can get separate coverage for contraceptive services at no additional cost to the employee or employer.
The Obama Administration also wants comment about a proposed rule that would give employees of closely-held for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby the opportunity to get coverage when their employer opts out.
In a news release, HHS said, “Under the proposal, these companies would not have to contract, arrange, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds. The proposal seeks comment on how to define a closely-held for-profit company and whether other steps might be appropriate to implement this policy.”
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