HHS rules that organizations with religious affiliations must provide coverage for contraceptives

Birth Control Health InsuranceThe Obama administration recently introduced a new law that requires insurers to provide coverage for contraceptives. The plan has put many religious associations on edge as such coverage may run counter to their beliefs. This has led many of these associations to seek exemption from the rule. Such is the case with the University of Notre Dame, which petitioned the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to be discounted from the law. Late last week, the HHS ruled that all institutions with religious affiliations must adhere to the law.

The HHS has determined that institutions such as Notre Dame must provide their employees with access to contraceptives through their insurance companies. The law does not make exception for bans on certain types of contraceptives. Instead, insurers are required to cover all FDA approved preventative measures regardless of the controversy surrounding them.

Dennis Brown, a spokesman for the University of Notre Dame, has said that the university has not yet determined how it will move forward given the ruling from the HHS. The university will be exploring what options it has available. According toe Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the HHS, non-profit religious organizations have until next year to comply with the law, allowing these organizations time to make changes. How this may affect the university’s future is not yet known, as officials have yet to reach a consensus on a plan of action.

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