ACA Contraception Coverage Offers Faith Groups Olive Branch
President Obama is offering workarounds in implementing mandates on insurance coverage under the ACA for religious non-profits. Women will still have access to birth control, but there will exist a wall of sorts between that access provision via the insurance company and religious groups comprising healthcare services in the non-profit sector. Originally, churches and other groups that primarily employ those of their own faith were exempt from ACA provisions on guaranteed access. Religious-affiliated groups had to comply, however. Until now, that is.
Under the new proposed rules, such non-profit religious organizations would have to ensure that enrollees of their health care plans get full contraception coverage, but they would not have to pay for it — a health insurer would pay for it. …. The faith-based organizations in question would have to notify their insurer or third-party administrator if they objected to paying for contraception costs on faith-based grounds. The insurer would then have to provide enrollees with no-cost contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies.
The ACA requires that employers provide health insurance that includes family planning as a preventive service. This rule has a 60-day comment period and will be ready for implementation in 6 months. Perhaps the broader questions remain: how will this provision be funded, and what about owners of private business who object to contraceptive services?