WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is proposing a work-around for religious non-profit groups that object to providing health insurance that covers birth control.
The new regulation attempts to create a barrier between the religious groups and the coverage, by having insurers or a third party giving women free access to contraception.
It's not clear whether religious leaders will accept the new approach. The birth control requirement has been challenged in a series of lawsuits.
The Catholic Health Association, a trade group for hospitals, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops each said they were studying the proposed regulations.
The requirement was part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Most employers, including faith-affiliated hospitals and nonprofits, are required to provide health insurance that includes artificial contraception as a free preventive service.
RACHEL ZOLL and RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is announcing a broader opt-out for religious nonprofits that object to providing health insurance that covers birth control.
The administration is allowing religious nonprofits to offer coverage that does not include contraception. In such a case, a third-party issuer will handle all business related to providing birth-control coverage for women, according to a source familiar with the changes who spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Religious groups had said the old birth-control coverage rule violated their religious beliefs. Many filed lawsuits or said they would simply not comply.
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