One goal of healthcare reform is “preventive care,” to support overall health. As part of this, most insurance companies are required to provide birth control, such as birth control pills, to women. This aspect of the law goes into effect Aug. 1, 2012. Religious organizations have one additional year, to Aug. 1, 2013 to comply with the law. The new law does not apply to religious entities themselves, such as churches, but it does apply to affiliated organizations, such as hospitals, that employ people who do not observe the same faith.
On Mar. 1, the Senate voted no on an amendment to the law that would exempt religious employers from providing insurance for any procedure or medication in conflict with religious beliefs, on the ground that the amendment was too vague.
What the Law Says:
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to offer coverage for preventative medical procedures to support women’s health, such as routine gynecological check ups. In addition, companies are required to cover birth control, as they would any other medication.
College and University health plans for students are considered individual healthcare plans and therefore, are expected, for the most part, to comply with the new law and offer preventative care, such as birth control, if they do not already.