Friday, February 10, 2012

Contraception Accommodation: Insurers Will Be Required To Offer Birth Control Free Of Charge

Contraception Accommodation: Insurers Will Be Required To Offer Birth Control Free Of Charge:

Senior administration officials announced early this morning that President Obama will announce a new “accommodation” for religious liberties in the rule requiring all employers to offer contraception coverage without additional cost sharing. Under the new policy, “all women will still have access to free preventive care, including contraception,” no matter where they work. However, if a nonprofit religiously affiliated organization like a Catholic college or hospital objects to offering birth control, the insurance company will be required to provide the coverage free of charge and the employer will not pay for it. Sister Carol Keehan, President of the US Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards support the compromise, the administration officials said.

Significantly, unlike the Hawaii model, religiously affiliated organizations will not have to refer employees to contraception coverage. Instead, the same insurer that provides insurance to the employer, will be offering contraception coverage to the employee directly. Insurance companies will be able to deliver birth control at no additional charge because the cost of contraception is far less than the costs associated with an unwanted pregnancy, the administration official explained. Therefore, “there is no extra premium” associated with the service.

The new rule will also eliminate the one year implementation delay that was included in the original regulation, meaning that contraception without cost sharing will be available starting Aug. 1.

I just love it when a plan comes together. Women win, and the RAO's can go back to their respective irrelevancies. Oh, and the insurance companies can stuff it, too!

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