HHS to allow some employers to opt out of ACA's birth control mandate

HHS and the U.S. Treasury and Labor departments have issued two rules that offer employers religious and moral exemptions from the ACA's requirement to provide insurance covering birth control.

In October 2017, President Donald Trump's administration issued two interim rules seeking public comment on the ACA's contraceptive guidelines while maintaining contraceptive coverage. There already had been exemptions granted under former President Barack Obama's administration for religious nonprofit organizations.

The two new final rules provide exemptions for entities and individuals objecting to contraceptive coverage on the basis of "sincerely held religious beliefs" or "nonreligious moral convictions."

The rules affect churches, nonprofits, publicly and nonpublicly traded for-profit entities and nongovernmental higher education institutions. HHS estimates the exemptions will affect the coverage of about 6,400 women.

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