The required insurance coverage echoed recommendations issued by the Institute of Medicine to HHS last month.
Insurance policies with plan years beginning after July 2012 are subject to the latest no-cost, preventive-service requirements.
The new rules allow religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees to opt out of covering contraception services. The exception was modeled on the most common such accommodations that states with similar requirements have instituted for religious groups inside their borders, according to HHS.
The exemption stemmed from objections by some religious organizations that requiring funding for birth control coverage would violate their core beliefs and force them to discontinue insurance coverage for all of their employees.
The latest required coverage is in addition to 2010 requirements issued by HHS that all new private health plans cover preventive services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, blood pressure checks and childhood immunizations. That coverage also was required without copayments, deductibles or co-insurance.