June 1, 2017

Trump to remove contraception from healthcare coverage, but Viagra remains

Daily Beast - Obamacare’s contraception mandate, which requires employer-provided insurance to cover certain preventive services for women without requiring patients to pay out of pocket, has been fodder for intense debate since its inception....

Since November, policy nerds and women’s health advocates have wondered how Trump’s long-promised rollback of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate will look. Today, we got a sneak peak.

The draft of the rule, obtained by Vox’s Sarah Kliff and Dylan Scott, would allow any employer or university to opt out of providing birth control to their employees or students by citing religious objection. The rule only applies to religious and morality-based objections to female contraception. It does not apply to other things a religion may find morally objectionable, like psychiatric drugs, blood transfusions, or Viagra. In addition, the rule would not require an employer to formally register their objection with the government before ending contraception coverage. Employers would be required to notify employees in advance of the change, but once the policy change was in effect, women would not be able to use their workplace insurance policies to pay for contraception. Even if was prescribed for reasons apart from prevention of pregnancy.

As we noted last week, once the Office of Budget Management approves the final version of the rule and posts it to the Federal Register, the regulation will go into effect.

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