Opt-out choice for Obamacare contraception cover

Wednesday 23 July 2014 22.54
Under Obamacare employers must provide health insurance policies that cover contraception
Under Obamacare employers must provide health insurance policies that cover contraception

The Obama administration is developing a method for religious organisations opposed to contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act to opt out of providing the coverage in their health plans without filling out a form.

That is the substance of a brief filed yesterday in the US Court of Appeals by the Justice Department.

Under US President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, employers must provide health insurance policies that cover preventive services for women, including contraception and sterilisation.

However, the US Supreme Court ruled early this month that Wheaton College, a Christian institution in Illinois, can opt out of providing the coverage on religious grounds by filling out a form claiming a religious exemption.

Wheaton College argues that filling out the form violates its religious briefs by granting its employees the right to use birth control.

As a result, the Obama administration intends to augment its regulations to provide an alternative way for such religious organisations to provide notification, while ensuring that enrollees in plans of such organisations receive separate coverage of contraceptive services.

The new rule is expected within a month.

"This is part of ensuring that all women have access to contraception coverage," said a senior Obama administration official.