(Washington, D.C.) Today, in response to recent Supreme Court rulings on contraceptive coverage, the Obama Administration announced it will issue a rule that accommodates non-profit organizations with religious objections to the contraceptive coverage provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Currently, these organizations must notify their insurance company if they stop offering contraceptive coverage to their employees, and then the insurer must provide it directly to them, but some employers have objected to this notification requirement. Under the new rule, they will have the option of notifying the Department of Health and Human Services instead. No matter whom the organization notifies, insurance companies will continue to contact women to tell them that they are eligible to receive contraceptive coverage at no additional cost, even though their employer will not be covering it.
In addition, the Administration is calling on Congress to pass legislation that will prohibit employers, in the name of religion, from discriminating against their female employees or imposing their religious beliefs on them. The Administration is also seeking comments on how it might expand the accommodation to closely-held for profit companies, in the event Congress fails to pass legislation. The ACA requires all new health insurance plans to cover contraceptives and other preventive health services with no co-pay or deductible.
The following is a statement from Judy Waxman, NWLC Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights:
“Birth control is essential health care, with nearly every woman using it at some point in her life. Today’s rules underscore the Administration’s commitment to protect women’s ability to get the birth control they need at no additional cost, even when their employer will not be providing coverage for it. However, Congress must also support women’s health by passing the Not My Boss’s Business Act. The bottom line is that millions of women must have access to this basic and essential health care without interference from their bosses.”