Contraception Coverage and Religious Organizations: The ACA mandates that all non-grandfathered health plans and health insurance policies provide coverage for preventive services as recommended by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Such coverage must be provided without cost-sharing. The preventive services recommended by the HRSA include FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization and patient education and counseling.
The HRSA guidelines included an exemption for health plans maintained by religious employers. The government then issued a “safe-harbor” rule for compliance pending the issuance of formal regulations. That safe harbor rule is in effect until the first plan year beginning on or after August 1, 2013.
On July 2, 2013, the government published final rules based on the February 6, 2013 safe harbor ruleproposed regulations. These regulations are effective for plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2013. However, the safe harbor rule has been extended to apply to plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2013, and before January 1, 2014.
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