Religious Employers not Required to Provide Contraception Coverage

February 10, 2012 ( – President Barack Obama announced that religious organizations will not be required to provide free contraception to their employees through their health insurance plans.

According to news reports, Obama told reporters he is offering a compromise that would allow women to obtain free contraception through their employer’s health insurance plan; however, if an employer objects to birth control because of religious beliefs, employees would be required to obtain it directly from their insurance companies.

Originally, in January, Obama announced that religious organizations would have a one-year delay before they would need to comply with a rule to provide contraception coverage. (See Religious Employers Given More Time for Contraception Rule).

Planned Parenthood and the Catholic Health Association both approved the compromise, the report stated.

The Obama administration said that insurers can provide free birth control because contraception reduces overall costs by preventing expensive-to-cover pregnancies and lowering the risk of ovarian cancer.