White House Revamps Contraception Rules

But rules out a broader exemption
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2013 11:57 AM CST
Catholic hospitals and other religiously-affiliated employers won't have to pay for contraception under the new rules, but their employees will still have free access to it.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The Obama administration today officially issued a proposed change to its rule mandating that employers offer their female employees insurance that includes copay-free access to contraception. Under the new rule, women who work for a religiously-affiliated employer, such as a Catholic hospital, will still get free access to contraceptives, but their employers won't need to pay for it. The employer will instead notify their insurance provider of their exemption, and the insurer will notify the employee that the contraception is coming from a separate policy, USA Today explains.

The rule drew praise from the executive director of Catholics United. Health and Human Services "has done the right thing," he said, according to Politico. "This is a victory not only for the Obama administration, but for the Catholic Church." But the rule hews fairly close to Obama's already announced compromise, which some Catholics had declared inadequate. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has so far only said it will review the new regulations. The administration also ruled out broadening the exemption to encompass any company whose owner had a religious objection, the Hill points out. (Read more Obama administration stories.)

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