The revised rule on insurance coverage of birth control that HHS will formulate, finalize and implement by August 2013 will apply to self-insured entities, as well as policies issued by insurance companies, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters.
Birth-control rule will apply to self-insured organizations, Sebelius says
The details of the revised birth-control rule—announced after a furor from Catholic employers who object to funding something to which they are morally opposed—remain undefined, except that it will require insurance companies to pay for the drugs instead of religious employers.
Among the uncertainties remaining in the wake of the administration's decision to revise the birth-control rule was how it would apply in the case of self-insured employers where there is no insurance company. Many Catholic employers, including hospitals, self-insure and that has allowed them to circumvent state mandates for insurance plans to cover birth control.
Separately, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blasted a Senate bill to roll back the birth-control mandate as “dangerous” and “wrong.”
“That proposal being considered in the Senate would allow any employer to restrict access to any preventive health service they say they object to,” Carney said during a news conference Wednesday. “It is not limited to contraception, and it applies to all employers—not just religious employers.”
It was unclear which bill Carney was referencing, although Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have introduced similar congressional efforts to block the birth-control coverage mandate. The Senate is expected to vote soon on a similar amendment by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
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