Seeking to allay the concerns of Catholic leaders and head off an escalating political storm, President Obama on Friday announced an adjustment to the administration’s health-care rule requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide contraceptive coverage to women.
Women still will be guaranteed coverage for contraceptive services without any out-of-pocket cost, but will have to seek the coverage directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control on religious grounds.
Religiously-affiliated non-profit employers such as schools, charities, universities, and hospitals will be able to provide their workers with plans that exclude such coverage. However, the insurance companies that provide the plans will have to offer those workers the opportunity to obtain additional contraceptive coverage directly, at no additional charge.
Churches remain exempt from the birth-control coverage requirement. And their workers will not have the option of obtaining separate contraceptive coverage under the new arrangement.
White House Fact Sheet here.
At Mother Jones: Most of Obama’s “Controversial” Birth Control Rule Was Law During Bush Years
At OFGS: Fight Over Birth Control