In a statement released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on January 20, 2012, the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to a full range of recommended preventive services, including all FDA-approved forms of contraception. Recall in August 2011 that an interim final rule was released on this topic, and that it included an exemption allowing certain religious organizations to not provide contraception coverage. As of August 1, 2012, the final rule states that all employer new or renewed health plans must cover these services without cost sharing for all women in this country.
Exemptions for religious organizations still stands, however employers that are religiously affiliated but hire people with diverse backgrounds (schools, hospitals, social service organizations) are not exempt and have until August 1, 2013 to comply with the new law. As stated in a press release from HHS Secretary Sebelius,
“Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. We intend to require employers that do not offer coverage of contraceptive services to provide notice to employees, which will also state that contraceptive services are available at sites such as community health centers.”
Read the full press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services here.
We will continue to keep you updated as additional information regarding PPACA and its provisions become available.
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