Faced with numerous lawsuits from employers, corporations and business owners, the Obama Administration today announced new details of the contraception coverage rule that clarifies which employers will be exempt from having to cover contraception costs for their employees.
The new rules look to eliminate some confusion over who qualifies for the exemption by requiring companies with religious objections to self-certify that they operate as non-profits, with religion as the core component of their mission.
Using this new distinction, religiously affiliated organizations that chose to insure themselves would instruct their administrator to provide coverage through a separate individual health insurance policy. In this manner they would not be involved in paying for services that they morally object to, and would steer clear of violating their religious beliefs.
“Today, the administration is taking the next step in providing women across the nation with coverage of recommended preventive care at no cost, while respecting religious concerns,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We will continue to work with faith-based organizations, women’s organizations, insurers and others to achieve these goals.”
While this new clarification is a step in the right direction, it does not satisfy all objections to the law. Many companies, including the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby, have sued on the grounds that they are being denied their religious freedom by having to cover services they morally object to.