White House Tweaks Rule Requiring Employers To Cover Birth Control

Late last month, the Obama administration angered some people when it announced that all employers — regardless of their stance on birth control — would need to provide insurance that covers female preventative care. Today, the President said his people had come up with a compromise that he believes will provide birth control while allowing businesses to not be directly responsible for providing it.

Speaking earlier today at the White House, Pres. Obama said:

Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services — no matter where they work. So that core principle remains. But if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company — not the hospital, not the charity — will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles.

The result will be that religious organizations won’t have to pay for these services, and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly. Let me repeat: These employers will not have to pay for, or provide, contraceptive services. But women who work at these institutions will have access to free contraceptive services, just like other women, and they’ll no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars a year that could go towards paying the rent or buying groceries.

Remarks by the President on Preventive Care [WhiteHouse.gov]