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It Just Got Easier for Companies to Drop Free Birth Control Coverage

It Just Got Easier for Companies to Drop Free Birth Control Coverage
From TIME - October 6, 2017

President Donald Trump's administration issued a long-rumored rule today exempting a broad range of employers from covering birth control in employer-sponsored insurance plans for moral or religious reasons.

The new regulation, issued by the Health and Human Services Department, takes effect immediately, though it is likely to be challenged in court.

The measure is a rollback of one of the Affordable Care Act's most popular provisions, which stipulates that all insurance plans offered by employers and on the individual market must cover FDA-approved forms of birth control at no additional cost, including birth control pills, rings, intrauterine devices, and more.

Now, Trump's mandate revision could deny birth control to hundreds of thousands of women as it expands the exemption to all nonprofit and for-profit employers including publicly-traded companies, who can choose not to cover birth control based on religious belief. The plan also allows a similar exemption for "moral conviction," though publicly-traded companies are not included in this.

One of the Obama administration's goals when it passed the ACA was to expand birth control access to as many women as possible. And it was largely successful: More than 55 million women accessed birth control without co-payments because of the mandate, according to the New York Times.

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