The rule would broaden a religious exemption from providing contraception coverage that was put in place by the Obama administration to more for-profit corporations and others not included in an earlier workaround, according to Trump administration officials.
The officials briefed reporters on the rule Friday on condition that the officials not be identified.
About 200 employers that are involved in suing the government over the requirement to provide contraception coverage would likely take advantage of the rule change, the administration estimates. That could affect about 120,000 women, the administration said.
The administration also announced guidelines to help insurers comply with a requirement that those in the Obamacare exchanges segregate funds used for abortions to ensure tax dollars don’t go toward the procedure.
The ACA required employers to cover birth control and an array of other preventive health services with no out-of-pocket costs. The Obama administration had allowed some religious organizations to opt out of the contraceptive requirement, but the religious groups said that the exemption process didn’t go far enough.
Obamacare required coverage for a broad range of contraceptive options, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, including surgical sterilization, pills, and intrauterine devices. Before it went into effect, about 21 percent of women ages 15 to 44 with employer-provided health coverage reported spending their own money on birth-control pills, according to Kaiser. That fell to 3.6 percent in 2014.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America said most women use birth control and coverage shouldn’t be controversial.
“It’s basic health care that the vast majority of women will use in their lifetime,” said Dana Singiser, vice president for government relations and public policy. “We are talking about a fundamental right.”
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