The  rule related to access to contraception and who pays for this insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act was once again modified by the Obama Administration on February 1, 2012.

Fortunately, this new rule does not cave into the Catholic bishops call to allow businesses to opt-out of paying for family planning but did give them a slight loop-hole. If the business can successfully argue that they are a religious institution that is just like a house of worship, then they can be treated like a house of worship and opt out of the business paying for contraception, leaving the insurance company to pay for it.  This will affect any employee of the business/institution as well as students receiving health care coverage and services at their religiously affiliated school that can meet the requirements for this new exemption.

This blog by Erin Matson does a good job of describing this new change.

 

Erin Matson

Today, the Obama administration issued a new proposed rule regarding the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act. Many reproductive rights organizations are calling it a victory. Some advocates, not so much.

So what just happened?

1. The new proposed rule spurned lobbying led by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that would have made businesses eligible to opt-out of the contraceptive mandate. 

All along these men have been arguing that the owner of a Taco Bell, a craft store chain or any business should be able to dictate the terms of what private insurance companies will provide to beneficiaries. That didn’t happen today. No ifs, ands or buts. The Obama administration did not cave. This is probably why some reproductive rights organizations are calling the new proposed rule a victory.

2. The new proposed rule did slightly expand the religious exemption, at a minimum creating a new gray area…

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