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On Friday the Obama administration introduced a new program that allows nonprofit organizations to elect not to provide free contraception for female employees, yet also offers help for organization employees who still wish to seek coverage.
As reported by The Columbus Dispatch, the religiously motivated policy offers a direct line of communication between the government and affiliated groups to decide against contraception coverage as part of their employees health benefits packages. Organizations formerly had to do so through their insurers.
The preceding protocol included completing a document called Form 700 that waived the employers' accountability to pay for birth control, relocating it to the insurer. The report claims that religious leaders, namely Catholic Bishops felt that “submitting that form was like signing a permission slip to engage in evil.”
According to The New York Times, the policy essentially only changes the process in which these nonprofits opt out of directly paying for contraception.
Birth control will still be made available for female employees who wish to use it. Now instead, the Department of Health and Human Services is charged with the task of facilitating coverage by a third party instead of companies themselves.
The policy is effective immediately as of Friday August 22.