The Obama administration finalized rules on Friday that allow religious-affiliated organizations opposing the use of contraception to opt out of a federal mandate requiring that they provide their employees with insurance coverage for birth control.
The mandates give women at nonprofit, religious-based organizations, like certain hospitals and universities, the ability to receive contraception through separate health policies at no charge.
The rules, which were first proposed in February and then open for comment through April, have undergone only minor changes. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, deputy director for policy and regulations at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a call with reporters that the rules were "very similar" to the administration's original proposal.
One of the few noticeable changes is the process by which insurance companies reimburse nonprofit religious organizations — such as nonprofit religious hospitals and institutions of higher education — that object to contraceptive coverage. This process, officials from HHS said, has provided more distance between the groups that disapprove of contraceptive use and the insurance companies that will be supplying contraceptives to their employees at no cost.
Written By: Dan Merica and Kevin Bohncontinue to source article at cnn.com