Under new rules released Friday, the Obama administration said for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby can avoid paying for their employees’ birth control costs through the same Obamacare exemption given to religious groups.
The Obama administration unveiled the policy shift after the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that closely held corporations should not be forced to pay for their workers’ contraception if they have religious objections.
As outlined by the administration, the companies and religious groups would notify the government of their objections to covering birth control for their employees. The insurance companies would then pick up the cost of contraception before being reimbursed by the federal government.
Still, some religious groups are likely to object to the rule, knowing they are essentially opening the door for their employees to receive insurance coverage for birth control.
The administration is hoping this latest concession will end its lengthy dispute with religious organizations.
“Today, the administration took several steps to ensure women whose coverage is threatened will receive coverage for recommended contraceptive services through their health care plans at no additional costs, as they should be entitled to under the Affordable Care Act, while continuing the administration’s goal of respecting religious beliefs,” said White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz. “What these rules do [is] help ensure that women have access to contraceptive coverage.”