HHS wants to strengthen contraceptive coverage requirements

HHS is proposing a new pathway for no-cost contraceptive coverage for employees of organizations with religious objections to covering these services. 

The agency issued a proposed rule Jan. 30, which would establish a program for members of plans sponsored by employers or universities that have religious objections to contraceptives to obtain them from a participating provider.

Under the proposed rule, the provider would be reimbursed by an ACA exchange payer, which would then receive a credit on user fees paid to the government.

The ACA mandates employers provide most contraceptives at no co-pay. In 2018, rules established that employers with religious or moral objections do not have to pay for employees' contraceptives through health plans.

The proposed rule would also remove the moral objection provision of the 2018 rule. CNN reported that HHS expects the proposal to affect more than 100 employers and more than 125,000 women. 

Public comment is open on the proposed rule for 60 days.

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